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  • 1440 Daily Digest

UK Blood Scandal

The UK's health system wrongfully exposed tens of thousands of patients to HIV and Hepatitis C and engaged in a cover-up, a report found yesterday. The report—the culmination of a six-year independent investigation—fueled victims’ calls for compensation.

From 1970 to 1991, over 30,000 UK patients were exposed to compromised blood samples through plasma treatments for hemophilia or blood transfusions following medical emergencies or childbirth. More than 3,000 people died from the infections, including many of the more than 380 children infected with HIV.

The inquiry concluded the tragedies were largely avoidable, with doctors and authorities regularly failing to disclose risks or inform patients when they got infected. The inquiry also faulted the government for importing high-risk blood samples from US prisoners and a yearslong delay in heat-treating blood products to eliminate HIV. Authorities were believed to have destroyed documents to conceal wrongdoing.

The blood infection scandal is considered the biggest treatment disaster in the history of the UK's National Health Service. Read the report here.

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