The NHS has been faced with a further scandal in relation to the contamination of blood products given to UK patients primarily during the 1970s and 1980s, which has led to a Public Inquiry. The purpose of the Inquiry is to investigate how the blood contamination came about, as well as consider possible allegations of a cover-up.
In the 70s and 80s, patients in the UK with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders were injected with blood products to help their blood clot. These blood products were imported from the US. However, often the blood supplies came from prison inmates, and the actual blood products provided were pooled from up to 40,000 donors and then concentrated. As a result, significant contamination of the blood products provided to patients in the UK occurred. These blood products then caused patients to be infected with viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis. It is estimated that as many as 5,000 patients were affected, 3,000 of whom have since died.
This Inquiry will be important is determining the scope of the problem, finding out how such a catastrophic mistake could have occurred, and identifying any possible attempts to cover-up the issue.
At O’Reilly Stewart, our Healthcare Team have acted and continue to act for patients affected by issues such as blood contamination or false positive blood results. Contamination can lead to serious conditions like HIV / Hepatitis. A false positive result, while not infecting the patient with any virus, can have serious psychological consequences for patients and family members having to deal with diagnosis of a medical condition that, unknown to them, they don’t in fact have. If you have been affected by any such issues, get in touch with our Healthcare Team and we can advise you of your options.