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No of entries selected: 5 of 711
1985
beginning
Protein Fractionation Laboratory, Scotland - Inadequate Heat-Treatment Method
In a DHSS letter of 1985, late seroconversions of haemophiliac patients who became HTLV-III positive, despite receiving heat-treated factor VIII are discussed in relation to variations in the adequacy of heat-treatment methods:

"Certain heat-treated products are not being subjected to sufficient inactivation. There is considerable variation between the methods used by commercial firms and in particular the Protein Fractionation Laboratory in Liberton in Scotland introduced on a short term basis a very quick method which they thought might inactivate the virus, at the beginning of the year. I believe that it is this latter which may be implicated in the information I have received."

Source:
Type: Recovered Document - Letter DHSS, Hannibal House, 28 November, 1985
Location: Scotland
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1985
26 September
DHSS Press Release - Effectiveness of Heat Treated Blood Products
In a DHSS Press Release in September 1985, the steps to safeguard the recipients of blood and blood products from AIDS infection is discussed:

"Preparations for the introduction of routine screening of all blood donations in mid-October are well advanced. The blood clotting agent Factor VIII needed by haemophiliacs is now being heat treated. And the major redevelopment, costing 38 million, of the Blood Products Laboratory in Elstree should ensure our self-sufficiency in blood products by the end of 1986." (page 2, paragraph 3, lines 4-6)

Note: The DHSS seem quite confident that the heat-treatment process is working effectively. However, it should be pointed out that 2 months later, (28th November 1985), evidence is found of haemophiliac patients seroconverting to become HTLV-III positive despite being given heat-treated Factor VIII.

Source:
Type: Recovered Document - DHSS Press Release 26 September 1985
Location: UK
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1985
29 October
National Blood Transfusion Service - Anti-HTLV III - Screening
In a letter to the DHSS from the NBTS West Midlands Regional Health Authority in October 1985, the NBTS shows startling overconfidence:

"I should add that we have screened over 24,000 donations by now, without discerning a single seropositive case...."

"I think the public and Parliamentary concern is exaggerated and misplaced. Much greater funds and concern should be invested in the more difficult area of influencing attitudes and behaviour rather than allowing them to be dissipated and assuaged in the area of blood transfusion."

Note: This statement is overconfident and unhelpful.

Source:
Type: Recovered Document - NBTS Letter, 29 October, 1985
Location: UK
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1985
29 October
NBTS - Quarantined Stocks of Pooled Plasma for Fractionation
In a letter from the NBTS to the DHSS in October 1985, the following overconfident comment is made:

"Fortunately for us, we were able to start anti-HTLV-III screening unofficially from the 23rd September 1985."

"Naturally we cannot comment on quarantined stocks of pooled plasma for fractionation at Elstree but assume that the heat inactivation will cover that aspect."

Background: The NBTS are ASSUMING that BPL Elstree's heat-treatment process will inactivate any possible virus in pooled plasma that was QUARANTINED for some reason. They unwisely put a lot of trust in the heat-inactivation process, especially if they are using untested or virus-implicated plasma pools. We know that only 2 months later several haemophiliac patients become HTLV-III positive after receiving Factor VIII; despite it allegedly being heat-treated.

Source:
Type: Recovered Document - NBTS Letter to DHSS, 29 October, 1985
Location: UK
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1985
28 November
DHSS - Heat Treated Factor VIII - Late Seroconversions
In a DHSS letter of November 1985, there is mention of hearsay evidence that haemophiliac patients are seroconverting to become anti-HTLV III positive despite being given heat-treated Factor VIII. Possible causes include:

"They have seroconverted some months after having received a non-treated product"

"Certain heat-treated products are not being subjected to sufficient inactivation. There is considerable variation between the methods used by commercial firms and in particular the Protein Fractionation Laboratory in Liberton in Scotland introduced on a short term basis a very quick method which they thought might inactivate the virus, at the beginning of the year. I believe that it is this latter which may be implicated in the information I have received."

"The Blood Products Laboratory at Elstree were rather late starters in heat treating their Factor VIII but are probably now producing the safest product in the world. There is good evidence that the prolonged and high temperature treatment, is inactivating the non-A non-B agent. It has been apparent for some time that commercial heat treated Factor VIII does not inactivate this agent."

Source:
Type: Recovered Document - Letter DHSS, Hannibal House, 28 November, 1985
Location: UK
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