In a major health scare in Britain, NHS doctors have warned that the solution used to preserve donated organs before being used in transplant surgeries may be contaminated with bacteria, putting hundreds of people who have undergone such surgeries at a major health risk.
The solution, known as viaspan, is widely used to preserve liver, pancreas and bowel before they are used in organ transplant surgeries. The solution is manufactured by Bristol Myers Squibb who found the sample used to test the sterility of viaspan to be contaminated with bacteria known as Bacillus cereus.
There are now concerns that the actual solution used in preserving the organs may also be contaminated and the company has issued a worldwide recall of the solution. However Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has confirmed that NHS will continue to use the solution until a suitable replacement has been found.
"Our priority is to ensure patients are safe. There is currently no evidence of any problems in patients who have recently had transplants where viaspan has been used. If we were to recall the product immediately it is clear that patients would suffer and some may die", she said.