HC Deb 20 May 1952 vol 501 cc242-3
10. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for War, in view of the case, of which he is aware, of Private Robert Harper, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, who, on 12th March, 1952, died in Warwick Hospital after a wrong diagnosis of his illness, what extra precautions he has taken to prevent a recurrence of such cases and to prevent the infection of others.

Mr. Head

I gave an undertaking to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross), that I would look into the arrangements for mass radiography of Army entrants. I have done so and find that at present nearly 70 per cent. of the Army entrants get an X-ray examination under the arrangements of my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Labour and he is working towards 100 per cent. examination. Meanwhile, it is our policy to examine all new entrants, and in the vast majority of cases this is being done.

Mr. Hughes

Is this not a particularly terrible case of a man being diagnosed as having asthma when he was tubercular and was at the same time a blood donor? Is the Minister in a position to say what became of that blood and whether it has infected other persons?

Mr. Head

No, Sir. Steps have been taken to see that nothing further is done with that. I have been into this case, and although it is an unfortunate one, I am informed that on medical grounds it might well have happened.