HL Deb 09 March 1972 vol 329 cc302-4WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will make a Statement on the latest development in the case of Evans Medical Ltd., of Speke.


Since my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Social Services made his Statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday, his inspectors have been making an intensive investigation at the factory of Evans Medical, Ltd., at Speke. They made a preliminary report yesterday morning that a fault in the sterilisation process could have caused the contamination in the bottles of dextrose solution used at the Devonport Hospital. It was also revealed that similar faults could possibly have occurred in the production of other batches of dextrose and other solutions manufactured by Evans Medical, Ltd.

In these circumstances my right honourable friend placed an immediate embargo throughout the country on the use of any of this manufacturer's solutions until he is completely satisfied as to their purity. The inspectors also reported that during one period in 1970 and since the beginning of this year bottles of similar solutions sold by Allen and Hanbury's under the trade name of Sterivac had been filled and sterilised at the Speke factory. These solutions were therefore included in the embargo.

The first results of the bacteriological investigation indicate that a proportion of the bottles from sub-batch D1192 C contain a growth of common airborne organisms such as would result from a sterilisation failure. It appears that this failure was partial only; two-thirds of 155 bottles examined in one laboratory were clear on visual inspection and a small sample of these on culture shows no bacterial contamination.

The investigations at the Evans Medical factory are continuing and all production of solutions there have been halted for the time being.

Ample supplies of the solutions are available from other manufacturers who are making special efforts to meet hospital requirements.

House adjourned at eight minutes before eight o'clock.