A murky and heartbreaking medical event is set to be highlighted in a new documentary, which was said to show what was called the "worst treatment disaster in NHS history." The documentary narrates how the UK was reportedly warned about a blood treatment for haemophilia, which was said to have led to worse outcomes, infecting thousands of patients with Hepatitis C and HIV.
The ITV documentary titled, "In Cold Blood," details the period in the seventies and eighties, when blood treatments given by the NHS infected approximately 4,000 with Hepatitis C and at least 1,300 people with HIV. There were 1,500 deaths recorded in relation to this time. The period was described as the "contaminated blood scandal."
The documentary narrates how the European country was struggling in getting sufficient amounts of Factor VIII. This was a clotting agent, which is pooled from human blood plasma and was used as treatment for the illness. The supplies were imported from the US.
Families of victims were the ones who spoke out and were included in the new documentary. They narrated how the scandal affected them.
Among the things that were shown in the documentary was a letter from an official in the US sent to a haemophilia expert in the UK. The said letter reportedly warned about diagnoses of Aids among haemophiliacs in the US who received the Factor VIII treatment. The official stated that he suspects that it would just be a matter of time before the UK would see cases.
The documentary alleged that the recipient of the letter, Professor Arthur Bloom, wrote months later and referred to the document as an "unduly alarmist report on Aids." However, in the same year, the Department for Health of the UK recommended the withdrawal of blood products from the US just until more info about the risk of AIDS could be unearthed.
Jason Evans, one of the campaigners stated that the warning just "fell on deaf ears." He was among those who lost a loved one due to AIDS.
The Infected Blood Inquiry is the public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal. It aimed to examine why men, women, and children were given infected blood, and will look into the imapct of the contamination on their families. The inquiry is led by Sir Brian Langstaff, a former High Court judge. The inquiry is still ongoing as of this writing.