Intended for healthcare professionals


John Cash: former director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, who warned against imported blood products

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 03 February 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n312
  1. Joanna Lyall
  1. London, UK
  1. joannalyall50@gmail.comUK
Credit: Keith Breeden, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

John Cash, whose persistent warnings about the dangers of imported blood products largely fell on deaf ears, has died aged 84. He had a fatal heart attack at home in Edinburgh while watching the proceedings of the Infected Blood Inquiry, chaired by Brian Langstaff, to which he was to give evidence. Self-sufficiency in blood products is one of the main matters being investigated by the inquiry, which was set up in 2017.

As early as 1976 Cash called for greater investment in blood services to avoid reliance on costly, commercial blood products.1

Blood products and self-sufficiency

In a wide ranging critique of the National Blood Transfusion Service of England and Wales in September 19872 Cash accused civil servants of “a lack of interest, vision, and commitment” in failing to improve provision. “The National Blood Transfusion Service is a fragmented and disorganised shambles,” he said. He criticised …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription