Mix-up blamed for `CJD transplants'

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An administrative mix-up was yesterday being blamed for three people receiving corneas from a woman who had Creuztfeldt-Jakob Disease .

Two men and a woman, from Wolverhampton, Liverpool and Manchester, were told that they have received the corneas - the surface of the eye - from a woman who had CJD, as it was confirmed that the disease can be transmitted by that route.

The patients' identities were not revealed, but Dr Andrew Tullo of the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital said the operations had been carried out earlier this year. The donor, Marion Hamilton, died aged 53 in Stirlingshire from lung cancer, and was then found to have CJD during a post-mortem. The UK Transplant Support Service Authority (UKTSSA), which runs the eye bank at the hospital, was not told until last month.

The Scottish Office was yesterday preparing a report on the case, which was being blamed on a "breakdown in communication" between the different organisations. A helpline for concerned patients has been set up on 0161 276 8500.