Hepatitis E screening
NHSBT first introduced hepatitis E virus (HEV) screened components for selected patients on 14 March 2016 following a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO).
Following a review in October 2016 SaBTO advised the UK blood services to move to 100% screening when practically possible. NHSBT completed this process for red cells and platelets in April and from 1 May all red cell and platelet components issued have been HEV negative.
To prevent wastage NHSBT continued to issue untested frozen components for hospitals to use on suitable patients. This process has now been completed and from 1 November 2017 all blood components issued by NHSBT are HEV negative with the exception of some very rare phenotypes held by the Frozen Blood Bank. Use of these rare untested components will be discussed on a case by case basis.