The taintedblood Timeline - what really happened...
Dr Craske is tasked with looking into reports of the syndrome in 3 haemophiliacs from the United States. HCDO minutes state that: "It appeared that there was a remote possibility that commercial blood products had been involved."
Type: Lancet Report
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Nevertheless, the DHSS appear to take little notice:
"In my view this suggestion is premature in relation to the evidence and unbalanced in that it does not take into account the risks to haemophiliacs of withdrawing a major source of their FVIII supplies".
Note: Where were the DHSS obtaining their medical advice? The HCDO had already had 9 months to consider the problem of imported Factor VIII as Dr Craske had been specifically tasked by the HCDO with looking into reports of AIDS in 3 haemophiliacs from the United States - this was in September 1982. Dr Craske, at that time, had suspected a link to commercial Factor VIII and this was minuted.
The only exception the Directors made was to continue with their policy of only using NHS material for children under the age of 4 and for mild haemophiliacs.
Background: Why didn't the Directors of Haemophilia Centres try and do more to ban imported Factor VIII concentrate? They appear to have ignored the following warnings:
- Dr Craske had been tasked by the HCDO with looking into reports of the syndrome in 3 haemophiliacs from the United States a whole 9 months before (in September 1982) and he suspected a link to commercial Factor VIII.
- 5 months earlier, (January 1983) there had been an article in the Lancet by Dr Jones (also HCDO), where AIDS was linked to common cell immunity in haemophiliacs.
- The FDA requirements on blood donations had already been introduced on 23rd March 1983 - this was 2 months before this decision.
- On 6th May, (1 week earlier) the CDSC telephoned the DHSS to inform them that a 23 year old haemophiliac patient in Cardiff was now showing symptoms of an AIDS diagnosis after having been infused with US Factor VIII.
- On 9th May 1983, (4 days earlier), the CDSC had written a letter recommending that American FVIII should be withdrawn from use due to the risk of transmitting AIDS. The DHSS definitely had sight of this CDSC letter by 13th May 1983.
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