“Human tragedy” was due to delay in achieving national self sufficiency in blood products

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 24 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b808
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    An independent inquiry has condemned government procrastination that led to a “horrific human tragedy” in which thousands of people in England and Wales with haemophilia became infected with HIV and hepatitis C from contaminated blood products.

    The inquiry, led by the Labour peer and former solicitor general Peter Archer, endorsed the description of the saga by Robert Winston, a doctor and member of the House of Lords, as “the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.”

    Some 4670 people treated with blood products in the 1970s and 1980s were infected with hepatitis C, of whom 1243 were also infected with HIV.

    Nearly 2000 haemophiliac people have died as a result. For several years after fears were raised about the risk of infection, the NHS continued to buy …

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