Infected Blood Inquiry

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Inquiry into Contaminated Blood

The taintedblood Timeline  -  what really happened...

"To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice."
Magna Carta - 15th June, 1215

No of entries selected: 6 of 711
6 January
Dr. J. Garrott Allen - Stanford University - Warning Letter to Dr Maycock
Dr J Garrott Allen, (former Professor Of Surgery, Stanford University, USA), writes a letter to Dr William Maycock, Head of Blood Transfusion Service, warning of the risks of commercial blood, particularly with regard to non-A non-B hepatitis and that as far back as 1975, that paying blood donors tempts them to lie about their circumstances and that this can compromise safety.

"As you know, Cutter's product Konye, for Factor deficiency, has proved extraordinarily hazardous, a 50-90 percent rate of icteric hepatitis developing from it. About half of these cases prove fatal."

"Cutter's source of blood is 100 percent from Skid-Row derelicts (Transfusion: May/June, 1974)."

Note: It is sad to read of the detrimental consequences of the UK purchasing commercial Factor VIII and IX upon the USA's attempts to form their own volunteer donor programs.

Type: Letter. Dr J Garrott Allen writing to Dr William Maycock of BPL. Dated 6th January 1975.
Location: USA
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15 September
Dr Diana Walford - DHSS: Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis Could be Rapidly Fatal
In a letter of 15 September 1980, Dr Diana Walford, a doctor working for the DHSS, recorded that the majority of the hepatitis infections following blood transfusion or treatment with blood products in the USA (and elsewhere) were caused by non-A, non-B hepatitis (NANBH) and that these viruses could be rapidly fatal.

The following was recorded in writing by Dr Walford in 1980: "I must emphasise that 90% of all post-transfusion (and blood-product infusion) hepatitis in the USA and elsewhere is caused by non-A, non-B hepatitis viruses which (unlike Hepatitis B) cannot, at present, be detected by testing donor blood."

Dr Walford goes on to state: "This form of hepatitis can be rapidly fatal (particularly when acquired by patients with pre-existing liver disease) or can lead to progressive liver damage..."

NOTE: We would like to draw attention to the level of knowledge that the DHSS possessed in 1980. This is the knowledge they had then; the very same information that the haemophiliac community are only discovering now. However, this is not a question of government only having the ability to understand the situation with regard to fatalities from viral hepatitis after they had happened, this letter of 1980 demonstrates full comprehension by the DHSS of the gravamen of such infections from commercial imports. Therefore, we must ask why any preventative action wasn't taken by the DOH and why was it that a complete myth was somehow propagated that NANBH was "mild and often asymptomatic"?

Type: Dr Diana Walford, MED SM4. Letter to Mr Harley. 15 September 1980
Location: UK
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Dr Craske - NANBH is Mild and Often Asymptomatic !
Dr John Craske claims that NANBH (non-A, non-B hepatitis) "is mild and often asymptomatic, but might cause chronic liver disease not associated with overt disease.
Source: Self-sufficiency in Blood Products in England and Wales - A Chronology from 1973-1991. DOH (2006)
Type: Claim
Location: UK
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27 February
Department of Health - Publication of Self-sufficiency Report
The Department of Health releases a report into Self Sufficiency in Blood Products in England and Wales, A Chronology from 1973 to 1991.

The report came out of the opinion held by Ministers that the infection of haemophiliacs could have been avoided had the United Kingdom achieved self-sufficiency in blood products; a policy Government initiated in 1975.

The review conveniently omits important correspondence between Government bodies in the timeframe 1973-79, and instead concentrates more on efforts to address the failings highlighted in the Medicines Inspectorate report of BPL Elstree, which, if they had been any normal business, would certainly have been closed down. However, due to Crown Immunity, the Government avoided the closure of BPL and they continued to process blood products in a condemned facility. The question must therefore be asked as to why this facility was allowed to fall into such disrepair?

Source: Link #1
Press Release, 27 February 2006
Link #3
Type: Report - Chronology
Location: UK
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27 February
Press Statement - Review Published on Infected Blood Products
The Department of Health publishes a report into how patients were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV through contaminated blood in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The press release presents conclusions as fact rather than opinions, whereas the Department of Health report itself concludes that "The information gathered during this review has been at times contradictory and incomplete, but the following conclusions can be "inferred"."

Note: The report is a review which focuses upon "surviving" documents from 1973 (when a decision was made to pursue self-sufficiency for England and Wales) to 1991 (when a validated screening test for HCV was introduced in the UK).

Type: Press Release - Department of Health
Location: UK
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28 February
Haemophilia Society - Condemns Department of Health Self-sufficiency Report
The Haemophilia Society condemns the report by the Department of Health into self-sufficiency in blood products as "an attempt to gloss over the details of a medical disaster that left a generation of people with haemophilia infected with life-threatening viruses."

The following shortcomings are mentioned:

  • The report does not have a named author
  • There is no mention of what information was given to patients regarding the safety of products to enable them to give informed consent
  • The report fails to mention the use of UK prison blood in clotting factors
  • The report fails to explain why the phased redevelopment of the Government facility for producing blood products took a year to implement and why the laboratory was allowed to continue manufacturing whilst having been declared 'unfit' under the Medicines Act 1968.
Haemophilia Society Press Release Feb 06
Source: Haemophilia Society Press Release February 2006
Type: Press Release
Location: UK
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Timeline Copyright ©2006 Andrew March & Haydn Lewis
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