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."
- Lederman reports widespread immunity abnormalities, possibly linked to AIDS.
- Menitove states that AIDS has a 40 per cent mortality, and reports widespread cell abnormalities.
- Desforges recommends Cryoprecipitate rather than concentrate because of the risk of AIDS.
Type: Articles: New England Journal of Medicine
This man had been infused with American Factor VIII.
Type: Recovered Document - DHSS Letter. American Factor VIII. Cardiff Haemophiliac. Dated 6th May 1983
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"... I have reviewed the literature and come to the conclusion that all blood products made from blood donated in the USA after 1978 should be withdrawn from use until the risk of AIDS transmission by these products has been clarified. Appended is a paper in which I set out my reasons for making this proposal. Perhaps the subject could be discussed at an early meeting with haematologists, virologists and others concerned so that a decision may be made as soon as possible."
"In conclusion, I say that I am most surprised that the USA manufacturers of the implicated blood products have not informed their customers of this new hazard. I assume no critical warning has been received in the United Kingdom?"
Note: Why did the DHSS not agree with PHLS (CDSC)? After all, the PHLS were the people who should have had the last word.
Type: Recovered Document - Letter from Dr N S Galbraith of the PHLS to Dr Ian Field, DHSS. Dated 9th May 1983.
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- To take all necessary steps and measures in respect of AIDS.
- To avoid the use of coagulation factor products from large plasma pools, except when such a product is specifically indicated for medical reasons; this is especially important for those countries where self-sufficiency in the production of such products has not been achieved.
- To inform attending physicians and selected recipients, such as haemophiliacs, of the potential health hazards of haemotherapy and the possibility of minimising these risks.
- To provide all donors with information on AIDS, so that those in high risk groups will refrain from donating.
- To pursue rapid and full implementation of recommendations of R(80)5 and R(81)14.
"The use of factor VIII concentrates is confined almost exclusively to designated haemophilia centres whose directors and staff are experts in this field."
"Professional advice has been made available to all such centres in relation to the possible risk of (AIDS) from this material".
How much proof did he need?
- In a Haemophilia Centre Directors' Organisation meeting in 13 September 1982, there is not only knowledge of AIDS infecting haemophiliacs in the USA, but also, there is some understanding of the possible involvement of commercial blood products.
- Then in January 1983, Desforges publishes an articles in the New England Journal of Medicine on Hemophiliacs and AIDS, recommending that cryoprecipitate rather than concentrate be used because of the risk of AIDS.
- By 6th May 1983, the CDSC telephones the DHSS to inform them that a 23 year old haemophiliac patient in Cardiff is now showing the appropriate symptoms for an AIDS diagnosis. N.b. This man had been infused with American Factor VIII.
- In a letter of May 1983, Dr N. Galbraith of the PHLS writes to the DHSS stating that he has reviewed the literature and come to the conclusion that all blood products made from blood donated in the USA after 1978 should be withdrawn from use until the risk of AIDS transmission by these products has been clarified. Both this suggestion and warning were ignored.
- Even when the Council of Europe made their draft recommendations on coagulation factors and AIDS at their meeting in Lisbon (16-20th May 1983), the UK seems to have difficulty remotely following these resolutions - which were, incidentally, accepted. The Council of Europe recommended that the use of coagulation factors prepared from large plasma pools should be avoided except where such a product was specifically indicated for medical reasons.
- In August 1983, the first UK haemophiliac dies of AIDS from US Factor VIII administered in December 1981.
Type: Hansards Written Answers
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