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Page last updated at 07:04 GMT, Friday, 30 March 2012 08:04 UK

Transplant patients 'will not be harmed'

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Doctors are being advised they can go on using a fluid to transport organs for transplant while concerns about contamination are being investigated.

Production of the liquid, Viaspan, has been suspended after tests found bacteria which can cause stomach upsets.

But David Mayer, clinical lead for organ retrieval at NHS Blood and Transplant, said that "this is a precautionary withdrawal... fluid has not been shown to be contaminated".

He told the Today programme's Justin Webb that it is sensitive to antibiotic and all transplant clinics have been advised of the measures to take.

Mr Mayer explained that there is no alternative fluid at the moment so if they withdraw it from the market altogether "patients will certainly die from liver and other organ failure" which on the balance of risks is "not acceptable".

He said they are urgently exploring alternative fluids from elsewhere but insisted that they could reassure people "we are confident we have taken the correct measures and patients will not be harmed."


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