Tests ongoing into bacteria found in donor organ fluid

TESTS are continuing into whether a faulty pressure gauge is behind a bacteria outbreak on the production line for the UK’s main donor organ solution.

Pharmaceutical firm Bristol-Myers Squibb is investigating a small leak that could have led to the bacteria Bacillus cereus appearing on the line for Viaspan solution.

Viaspan preserves the kidney, liver, pancreas and bowel, and is often used when organs are transported around the country.

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Its main use is to preserve kidneys, of which around 1,500 transplant operations are carried out every year in the UK. Bristol-Myers Squibb issued a worldwide recall of Viaspan on Thursday after the bacteria was found at a facility in Austria.

A spokeswoman for the firm said yesterday that inspectors became aware of a problem earlier this month when routine testing of the line revealed some cloudiness.

The spokeswoman added: “They believe, potentially, that the issue is a faulty pressure gauge on the production line that’s been found to have a small leak. An urgent investigation is being carried out and everything is being tested.”