Home News Report finds ‘catalogue of failures’ in UK blood contamination scandal

Report finds ‘catalogue of failures’ in UK blood contamination scandal

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A series of “failures” by British government and medical officials, most of them avoidable mistakes, led to blood contamination that killed around 3,000 people and infected more than 30,000 over two decades. Report Published Monday.

The report is the result of a six-year investigation The British government ordered in 2017 It could pave the way for huge compensation after decades of pressure from victims and their families.

The independent report casts a scathing look at Britain’s state-run National Health Service, citing “systemic, systemic failures” in how authorities dealt with tens of thousands of infections caused by contaminated blood transfusions or contaminated blood products. collective and individual failure”. 1970s and 1990s.

The report said authorities at the time refused to acknowledge the deficiencies – including a lack of adequate blood screening and testing – “withholding the truth”.

“This disaster was no accident,” former High Court judge Brian Longstaff, who is leading the inquiry, told a news conference on Monday. “People trusted doctors and governments to keep them safe, and that trust was betrayed.”

He added: “The NHS and successive governments have compounded the suffering by refusing to admit that mistakes were made.”

In a summary of the 2,000-page report, Langstaff wrote that the investigation documented a “catalogue of failures.”

“Each is serious in its own right,” he wrote. “Overall, they are a disaster.” He said the problems “while not entirely avoidable, are largely avoidable.”

At a news conference in London, victims of the blood contamination and their families expressed relief at the report’s findings but anger that it had taken so long to get it. They said it was time for the British government to admit its failures and provide full compensation to the victims.

Andy Evans, long-time activist At age 13, he discovered that blood transfusions for hemophilia led to HIV infectionsaid he felt “validated and validated.”

“We’ve had gaslighting for generations,” Mr Evans said. “This report puts an end to that.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to make a formal apology to parliament on Monday for his government’s failings, many of which occurred before Sunak was born. The British government has agreed to issue interim payments of £100,000 (approximately $127,000) to each victim in 2022.

The investigation does not have the authority to recommend criminal prosecution, and it is unclear whether the report will result in any criminal prosecution.

“If there is clear evidence and there are solutions, then this is clearly an issue that the government must address,” said John Glenn, the British government official responsible for the infected blood investigation. Tell LBC Radio on Monday.

“I can’t say for sure, but we have to get justice for these people,” Mr Glenn said.

The scandal originated in the 1970s and 1980s when thousands of patients were exposed to contaminated blood. Some people need blood transfusions after accidents, surgeries or complications during childbirth, but their transfusions are not screened for HIV or hepatitis C.

Many others are patients hemophilia, a genetic disorder that prevents blood from clotting properly. At the time, many of them received a treatment derived from plasma called Factor VIII, which provides the missing protein needed for hemophilia patients’ blood to clot.

The treatment is performed using a pool of plasma from thousands of donors, meaning even a small amount of contaminated donation could contaminate the entire pool. (Later, synthetic clotting factor proteins were developed.)

The NHS imports some Factor VIII from the US, with many donations coming from prisoners or drug users who are paid to donate blood, which increases the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C.

Campaigners pushing for the investigation say British authorities failed to heed warning signs about a lack of screening and the risks associated with using imported U.S. blood products.

The investigation team, composed of legal professionals, investigators and civil servants, heard from infected people and their relatives and loved ones; medical and ethical experts; government officials and politicians.

previous inquiries and compensation offer Victims and their families believe this is not enough. in 2009, independent reporting It concluded that the tragedy could have been avoided if blood imports from the United States had been stopped, but it did not blame individual doctors or companies, and no one from the Ministry of Health was called to testify.

2015, Scottish inquiry The incident prompted an apology from then-Prime Minister David Cameron, but was viewed as unsatisfactory by the victims and their families because witnesses from outside Scotland could not be called.

other countries, including USA and Japanhas also faced similar scandals. In Franceseveral senior health officials Convicted in 1992 Accused of distributing contaminated blood, then-French health minister Convicted in 1999 of negligence. But he faced no punishment and two other senior officials, including then-prime minister Laurent Fabius, were also acquitted.

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