A public inquiry into the use of contaminated blood has started to hear evidence. The inquiry led by retired Judge, Sir Brian Langstaff could last for more than two years and will consider evidence from approximately 2,500 people affected by contaminated blood products.
It is thought that some 4,800 people were infected with Hepatitis C or HIV in the 1970s and 1980s, of which more than 2,000 are thought to have already passed away.
Many of the victims were haemophiliacs treated with the clotting agent Factor VIII made from infected, imported blood products. Much of the plasma used to make Factor VIII was found to be from US prisoners and people in the USA who sold their blood.
In addition, many more individuals are living with the consequences of having HIV or Hepatitis after being exposed after an operation or childbirth.
In particular, victims and their families wish to obtain answers as to why certain safety warnings had been ignored, why plans to make the UK self-sufficient in blood products were scrapped and why many documents and records are not available.
If you have been affected by the issues above, Thompsons NI can support you. Contact our specialist solicitors, Joanne Kerr or Oonagh McClure, on 02890 890450 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, you can access our clinical negligence claims page for more information.