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GP warning sparked pregnancy alert

A GP warning sparked a national alert over faulty pregnancy test kits that could affect more than 11,000 women, it emerged last week.

GPs and hospitals across the country were warned not to use the SAS One-Step test kits by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, when fears surfaced that some batches of the tests could have a false negative rate as high as 30 per cent.

The problem came to light when GPs in the Durham area of the North East ­ who cannot be named for patient confidentiality reasons ­ complained to their local trust about the tests which are supplied to GP surgeries and hospitals by health authorities.

The GPs' warning coincided with routine quality control checks, a spokesman for the County Durham and Tees Valley strategic health authority told Pulse.

The tests, manufactured by SA Scientific Inc of San Antonio, Texas, are believed to have been bought by 29 health organisations between October last year and January this year.

They have now been recalled by UK distributors.

The MHRA is concerned that women who are not aware they are pregnant may be drinking or smoking, taking potentially harmful over-the-counter drugs or having X-rays.

Women who did not want to be pregnant may also consider having late abortions.

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