A public inquiry into the biggest treatment scandal in NHS history was created after patients were found to be infected with Hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood products.
An inquiry has been created into the biggest treatment scandal in NHS history after tens of thousands of NHS patients were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood products.
One victim, Mr Dymond previously suffered from a tumour in his liver. As Mr Dymond was a haemophiliac, his blood was unable to clot properly. Due to this condition he was treated with Factor VIII, an injection which replaces the clotting agent.
However, the UK supplies were low therefore there was dependence on imported blood plasma, used to create the Factor VIII agent. This blood plasma was from ‘higher risk’ donors such as prison inmates from the USA, who would donate their blood for money.
Mr Dymond states that, “They didn't explain that there was any risk of contamination” and “We were exposed time, after time, after time."
It is estimated that 4,689 haemophiliacs were infected with blood contaminated with Hepatitis C – a disease which can have lifelong effects and often victims suffer from symptoms such as fatigue and nausea. This can lead to additional problems such as liver disease leading to more serious conditions such as Cirrhosis and Cancer.
A further 1,250 were infected with what was called ‘Aids Antibodies’ or HIV. This led to victims being stigmatised and having to live with devastating health consequences.
It is known that 2,883 victims have died from this contamination.
This diagnosis also led to other repercussions such as Mr Dymond and his wife being told they were unable to continue their cycle of IVF due to Mr Dymond’s development of Hepatitis C.
Survivors and their families are fighting to gain justice for those who developed these conditions. Another Victim, Mr Dorricott died in 2015 due to developing Cancer which was linked to Hepatitis C after being given Factor VIII before dental surgery.
However, an alternative could have been used such as older medication used for Haemophiliacs, in both cases, yet the contaminated Factor VIII was used instead.
His Daughter, Miss Dorricott is fighting for justice on his behalf. Miss Dorricott, stated that her father met with the Health Secretary and believes that, "[Jeremy Hunt] made lots of promises to my dad" about support and compensation "but as far as I'm concerned, he's not fulfilled them".
In July 2017, the government agreed to a public inquiry into the scandal and will look at the reason for all of these deaths and the response to this scandal as well as a potential cover up into the situation.
It is also believed that an additional 35,000 NHS patients who are non-haemophiliacs received contaminated blood after receiving blood transfusions after an operation or childbirth.
This inquiry, chaired by High Court judge Sir Brian Langstaff will be the first time where the enquiring body have the power to demand documents and both government and NHS officials can be made to testify under oath.
As Director of the Clinical Negligence department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, Rebecca Thomas has over 20 years’ experience in her field dealing with severe and complex clinical negligence and personal injury cases including, but not limited to; claims involving birth injuries, brain injuries, surgical injuries and orthopaedic injuries resulting from delay, misdiagnosis or negligent spinal or gastrointestinal surgery.
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