Warning over faulty pregnancy test kits

Pregnancy testing kits used at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn between April and June this year may have come from a faulty batch and given false readings, health chiefs said today.

Pregnancy testing kits used at a Norfolk hospital between April and June this year may have come from a faulty batch and given false readings, health chiefs said today.

The Clearview pregnancy test kits are used in various wards and departments at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, when a female patient is due to receive treatment, or undergo an operation, which could be detrimental if she is pregnant.

Now a faulty batch has been identified by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and 120 kits from the batch were delivered to the QEH in April.

So far 41 of the kits have already been used, and the remainder have been recalled by the hospital pharmacy. Manufacturers estimate that the likelihood of a faulty kit being used is small - approximately one in every 2000 may give an incorrect reading.

Claire Roberts, deputy director of quality and governance at the QEH said, 'The kits are used to test patients for pregnancy before they undergo operations, for example, and it is likely that the patients would have had a clear idea beforehand whether or not they were pregnant.

'We accept that some patients may need further information or reassurance and we are happy to answer their concerns via our helpline.'

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A helpline has been set up at the hospital on 01553 613613 ext 3769. It will operate from Tuesday to Friday this week from 12 noon until 2pm, and any concerned patients can request a further free pregnancy test if required.