The biggest disaster in the NHS’s history: 2,000 died after 34,000 were given HIV or | hepatitis C | through infected blood…but it took 30 years for an apology

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  • 7,500 people, many hemophiliacs, contaminated blood given
  • Diseases came from high-risk donors, including prostitutes and prisoners
  • Many victims need liver transplants and dialysis
  • people inadvertently infected partners and children with diseases
  • follows the release of 1,800 pages, the report six years in the scandal

Government to apologize this week for what has been called the worst disaster in the history of treatment National Health Service -. Infection of thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases through the use of contaminated blood products

After the personal intervention of David Cameron, there will be a formal statement of repentance given to the House of Commons, similar to those recognized official failures of Bloody Sunday and the Hillsborough football disaster.


This will come after the publication on Wednesday of 1,800 pages Penrose message, a report six years in a scandal that has caused more than 2,000 British deaths.

Apology: David Cameron will say sorry this week for what has been called the worst disaster in the history of treatment National Health service

are known

Nearly 7,500 people, many of them hemophiliacs, who have contracted HIV and hepatitis C after receiving blood products imported from high-risk donors, such as prostitutes and prisoners in the 1970s and 1980s

Their lives were devastated, and many may never work again and forced to financial difficulties.

Dozens of victims need liver transplant or regular dialysis, partners and children, while others inadvertently infected.

Health officials believe another 27,000 patients may have been infected with hepatitis without being identified.

Investigation of 11 million £ led by Scottish judge Lord Penrose was created by the Scottish Parliament

to investigate claims that ministers, officials and health officials were slow to pay attention to the warning signs and then covered their complacency.

because it covers a period before health services have been attributed largely delayed results will have ramifications across the country.

warning letters have been sent to those facing strong criticism.

Although the government can not give its response to the full report this week, it intends to save extra money for victims.

“There is a feeling that we need to correct a historical mistake,” said a source of Westminster. “This is a failure of even greater magnitude than Hillsborough.”

Victims have complained of discretionary financial support distributed across five different trusts, leaving applicants complained of feeling like ‘beggars today.

Many were not expected to live long in the days before HIV became treatable.

Cameron has heard firsthand from constituents about the tragic impact of contaminated blood.

“We should help these people more,” he said earlier this month

was given to Robert AIDS. – Then killed their relatives …

in 1983, Robert Mackie asked his doctor about reports of hemophiliacs developing a mysterious new disease called AIDS that was killing its victims within a couple of years.

they said not to worry. So the bodybuilder turned to his wife and continued his life of sport fishing and salmon as before, interspersed with episodes of treatment for hemophilia.

Little is known, but Mackie already had hepatitis C from contaminated blood

products Then in March the following year, he was infected with HIV -.. and in an instant, his life was devastated


later, the deadly AIDS virus advanced in true I had to stop working -. Like his wife, Alice, to care for him

Outrage: Haemophiliac Robert Mackie was first infected with Hepatitis C and then HIV through contaminated blood from high risk donors including drug users and prisoners

Outrage: hemophiliacs Robert Mackie was infected with hepatitis C and then HIV through contaminated blood donor high risk including drug users and prisoners

His condition worsened and he could barely climb stairs; They were lucky her son was born healthy.

However, Mackie, 64, is one of thousands whose lives were destroyed by products designed to treat hereditary condition, helping blood clot.

The roll call of deaths include two of his uncles, a cousin and several close friends in the community of Scottish hemophilia.

No one has ever made an official apology or admission of liability

wonder they are angry, did not like others who have spoken during the investigation of this shocking series for the Mail on Sunday.

not only incompetence and cover-ups, but with the lack of a national public information service, processes or public apology -. And partial compensation

What makes it even worse in the case of Mackie is that it was part of a group of hemophiliacs Edinburgh whose medical records indicate that were used to study AIDS since before it was infected.

Clearly they were being used as guinea pigs. There was no medical knowledge of the risks they faced – however, patients are not asked to give consent or warnings about their treatment

‘I find it absolutely outrageous, “said

.. the first time I came across this story five years ago, surprised both by the extent of the scandal and the apparent lack of concern for people not so terribly and so tragically by the health system.

is given in white since I have a blood disorder closely related, spent many childhood days in units of hematology hospital with the young hemophiliacs. Unfortunately, I suspect dozens have died.

Long fight: Members of the Haemophilia Society delegation delivered a petition to David Cameron, along with lilies to represent people that have died as a result of being given infected blood

long struggle: members of the delegation of the Haemophilia Society delivered a petition to David Cameron, along with lilies to represent people who have died as a result of being given infected blood

Among those I’ve talked to are Janet and Colin Smith, who saw his son, also named Colin, died at the age of seven who weighs only 13 pounds.

And Melanie McKay told 14-year-old HIV had been given seven years earlier, thwarting his dreams of becoming a pediatric nurse.

Britain was embarrassingly slow to react to the growing concern about the dangers of contaminated blood supplies that emerged in the 1980s

Calls to ban dangerous products were imported and in May 1983, with the first British hemophiliac reported that August AIDS -. However, patients were still being infected with HIV from blood products two years later

Some 1,500 ended with the virus, many suffer in silence to avoid people acute stigma faced at the time.

Then, at least 16 Western countries were quick to detect hepatitis C after finally isolated in 1988. It is known from at least a decade before these viruses were in the group donors.

The hemophiliacs were greatly affected as they depend on coagulant made from blood plasma to combat a rare genetic disease that means their blood does not clot properly.

They were treated with factor VIII, based on pooled donations of thousands of people. It later emerged that included some of the biggest donors imaginable, such as drug addicts, prostitutes and slum dwellers in Haiti risk.

A Canadian company was even found to have blood drawn from Russian relabeling bodies as from Scandinavian donors.

In Britain, the use of paid donors is prohibited because it attracts people desperate for money. However, incredibly, imports of Factor VIII are allowed using blood taken from American prisoners are paid to donate blood.

Even when heat treated safer they became available, allowed doctors to decide whether to use them -. And many chose to use up old materials first

Meanwhile , hemophiliacs given hepatitis routinely accused of being alcoholics, such was the severity of liver damage.

As the scandal seeped into the light, he revealed that key government documents had been shredded, allegedly by mistake by a junior official.

Infections: Blood taken from high-risk donors including prisoners and prostitutes infected 7,500 people 30 years ago. A formal apology is due to be issued later this week

Infections: Blood taken from high-risk donors, including prisoners and prostitutes infected 7,500 people 30 years ago. A formal apology is due to be issued this week

a round Whitehall quoted a minister as saying ‘only hemophiliacs have died’. A leaked memo health department said that while saving your life was “face” was a “strong cost-benefit ‘and’ those already convicted generate savings, which more than cover the cost of blood donations testing ‘ .

Britain was not the only country hit by a tainted blood scandal. But in France, Canada and Japan, there have been prosecutions and convictions of bumbling officials, while in Ireland, people who received the hepatitis C were awarded with average payments of £ 750,000

What a contrast to Britain -.. a fury justified hemophiliacs as Steve Gorman a forced expert linguist by hepatitis to abandon his teaching career

“No one has ever made an official apology or admission of liability,” Gorman, Broadstairs, Kent said. ‘This makes us so angry. “

At least this looks set to change at last. This is an episode that has, after all, destroys the lives of many more people than even the scandal of the hospital in mid-Staffordshire.

However, as Simon di Rollo, the leading advocate for patients and their relatives, said in his summary to Lord Penrose: “Why is it so difficult for the institutions and departments of the NHS and government responsible for their administration to publicly admit mistakes and misjudgments? ‘

A very good question. Especially when many of these unfortunate people have suffered hell for so long thanks to the shocking failure of services to help them.

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