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What is the British infected blood scandal? | contaminated blood scandal

What is the British infected blood scandal?  |  contaminated blood scandal


The blood investigation of infected people is scheduled to be completed about seven years after it was first announced.

What happen?

From the 1970s to the early 1990s, tens of thousands of people in the UK became infected with HIV and/or hepatitis after receiving contaminated blood and blood products.

This includes people who need a blood transfusion during an accident, surgery or childbirth, and patients with certain blood disorders who have been treated with donated plasma or blood transfusions.

What was the result?

It is estimated that one person dies from infected blood every four days.

More than 3,000 people have died and others are living with lifelong health problems.

Who was influenced?

There are two main groups of victims: those who require blood transfusions and those with bleeding disorders who require blood or blood products as part of their treatment.

People need blood transfusions for a variety of reasons, including routine surgery, due to childbirth, or if they have had an accident or been injured and lost a lot of blood.

Many of the victims, especially those with hemophilia, suffered from bleeding disorders.

Hemophilia is a genetic disorder in which blood does not clot properly. Most people with this condition are deficient in a protein known as Factor VIII, which allows blood to clot.

In the 1970s, a new treatment called factor concentrate was developed to replace the missing coagulant made from donated human plasma.

Manufacturers have pooled the plasma of tens of thousands of people to make their products, increasing the risk of their products containing blood infected with viruses, including hepatitis and HIV.

Patients with hemophilia were treated with blood products from the UK and USA.

A lack of concentrated factor produced in the UK meant clinicians had to rely on US imports, from which people in prison are paid donors, despite being at a higher risk of infection.

Many patients welcomed this new treatment, which could be delivered by injection at home, as before this new treatment was introduced, they had to receive plasma transfusions in hospital.

What infections do people get?

Bloodborne infections are viruses that are carried through the blood, such as hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

HIV is a virus that damages the cells of the body's immune system and weakens its ability to fight routine infections and diseases. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a term used to describe a variety of potentially life-threatening infections and diseases that occur when the immune system is severely damaged by the HIV virus.

Advances in medicine mean that most people infected with the virus now live long, healthy lives and most people with HIV will never develop AIDS-related diseases.

Hepatitis C is a virus that is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact and infects the liver. If left untreated, it can cause serious damage to the liver.

It was first named in 1989 and was previously known as non-A and non-B hepatitis.

The disease is known as a silent killer because some people can live with the virus for years before realizing they are infected. However, delayed diagnosis can lead to irreversible liver damage.

The Hepatitis C Foundation urges anyone who received a blood transfusion before 1991 to be tested for the virus. At-home tests can be ordered via

When was the inquiry announced?

Former Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the inquiry in July 2017, following years of campaigning by victims and their families.

At the time, 2,400 people died as a result of this incident, but the number is now estimated to be over 3,000.

Prime Minister May said the scandal was a terrible tragedy that should never have happened.

She said thousands of patients had expected the world-class care our NHS is renowned for but had failed.

What did the investigation look for?

The terms of reference set out a number of issues to be considered.

This involves investigating what happened and why. the impact on those affected; response from governments and other agencies; agreement; communication and information sharing; the treatment, care and support people received; Was there a cover-up and who was responsible?

Because of these issues, the inquiry chair is likely to make a series of recommendations.

Sir Brian Langstaff heard evidence between 2019 and 2023. 374 people gave oral evidence, and the inquiry received more than 5,000 witness statements and reviewed more than 100,000 documents.

What about compensation?

The government is speeding up the establishment of a compensation organization after receiving criticism for being slow to respond to compensation demands in the past.

An interim compensation of 100,000 won was paid to about 4,000 infected people or their bereaved families.

Ministers recently announced that these interim payments would be extended to the deceased's estate.




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