Counselling offered after hepatitis alert
Telephone calls to the Stafford District General Hospital began late on Sunday evening when it was disclosed that a woman and the gynaecologist who delivered her baby by Caesarean section had the virus which causes serious liver disease. Many of the women were distressed and were counselled over the telephone.
It is the first time that the viral transmission from doctor to patient during a birth has been suspected.
Joe Jordan, a consultant gynaecologist and spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said the virus would only be passed if the surgeon's blood came into contact with that of the patient. Transmission was most likely if the surgeon accidentally pricked or jabbed himself when repairing the womb after the Caesarean.
The college has no policy on hepatitis B vaccination for its members but 'strongly recommends' that they have the injection, he added.
It has not been proved conclusively that the surgeon is responsible for transmitting the infection but there is a 'high probability' that he is involved, a hospital spokeswoman said. 'It may never actually be confirmed that he is to blame but we will know more in three weeks' time when we have the results of tests.' Since the woman underwent the emergency delivery last September, it was difficult to establish exactly what occurred in the operating theatre.
About 1,000 women who underwent gynaecological procedures carried out by the surgeon since February 1991 are being offered hepatitis B tests. Local GPs are being asked to help.
The hospital spokeswoman said: 'As a precautionary measure, we are getting in touch with all women who have been in contact with the particular member of staff and who may be at risk. The likelihood of infection is minimal and there is no cause for concern and the action we have undertaken is purely precautionary.'
Neither the patient, a 26-year- old woman, nor the surgeon have been named.
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...