Sunday, June 16, 2024

Infected blood inquiry scandal live: Victims betrayed by cover-up, inquiry says – BBC News

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In 1981, the first reports started to emerge about a new
disease which would later become known as Aids.

By the end of 1982, the inquiry says, ”all those involved in
treating patients with blood or blood products either knew, or should have known,
of the risks.”

Throughout 1983, the warnings signs were growing louder.

In May 1983, one of the UK’s top infectious disease experts
Dr Spence Galbraith, wrote to the Department of Health saying that all imported
American blood products should be withdrawn from NHS use until the aids risk
was “clarified”.

Yet that didn’t happen and the contaminated American
products continued to be used.

The inquiry heavily criticises the decision not to suspend the importation of those products at the time and also for failing to keep the
situation under review.

At the time government ministers were saying in parliament
that there was still “no conclusive proof” that HIV could be transmitted in
blood.

The inquiry says that was the “wrong approach” which was
“falsely reassuring the public and patients”.

Instead politicians and officials should have been asking if
“there was a real risk blood might transmit [HIV],” it says.

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