Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Screening and diagnosis of Haemochromatosis (Iron Overload)

We've considered quite a few health petitions over recent meetings. This afternoon we considered another one from George Scott on Haemochromatosis. This is a genetic disorder which causes the body to absorb excessive iron from the diet and then deposits it in the liver, pancreas, heart, endocrine glands and joints. This can lead to liver cirrhosis, heart damage and diabetes.
It's always interesting to receive petitions like this, people seeking to raise our awareness of conditions that perhaps don't receive a lot of attention compared to others. I thought the petition was really well put together with lots of information. The oral presentations from George Scott, Dr Fitzsimons and Dr Robson were particularly useful. You could see the committee was getting absorbed into the topic.
In the end we agreed to write to the UK National Screening Committee, the Scottish Government, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, British Society for Haematology, Molecular Haematology Unit and the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society looking for more information about the issues raised in the petition. We've also asked the petitioner for some statistical data about incidence rates.
We'll have another look at this petition next year once all this information comes back.
John Farquhar Munro MSP, Deputy Convener


  1. I like this post, I would like read more information about this!

  2. Just to let you know that the petition, and the written responses received (see www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/petitions/docs/PE1298.htm)will go back before the committee on 20 April so you can follow the progress of this petition.