UK’s contaminated blood scandal inquiry: All you need to know

by | Jul 1, 2022 | World

A blood treatment that infected 30,000 people with HIV and hepatitis C decades ago in the UK returns to the spotlight.A public inquiry into the infection of nearly 30,000 people through tainted blood treatment in the United Kingdom between the 1970s and 1980s has returned to the spotlight this week after former British Prime Minister Sir John Major appeared and gave evidence under oath.
The former prime minister, who was answering questions on what his government knew about the contaminated blood treatment that killed thousands of people, has said the victims had “incredibly bad luck”, a description that angered the survivors and bereaved families who were watching.
Though he later apologised, saying his remark was not intended to be offensive, the victims demanded an apology.
Former British Prime Minister John Major answers questions [File: Peter Nicholls/Reuters]
What is the scandal about?
During the 1970s and 1980s, the UK’s national health services provider (NHS) gave patients with haemophilia and other blood disorders contaminated blood infected with HIV or hepatitis C.
The contaminated blood was provided as blood-clotting treatments while the UK was experiencing a shortage of donated blood.
To address a huge demand for factor VIII – the blood clotting treatment, the NHS imported blood products from the United States.
The blood was distilled from thousands of people, including prisoners who were paid to donate, but it was never screened before transfusions and thus infected nearly 30,000 people with diseases.
The victims and the bereaved families claim they were never warned of the infected blood risk and accuse the government of negligence.
How did the story come to light?
The scan …

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