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The end of week one and the start of week two saw a presentation by Counsel on Professor Bloom and the Cardiff Haemophilia Centre.  Jenni Richards advised that she would be first focusing on the numerous documents that have been made available to the Inquiry.

During the course of the hearing a timeline was provided using the documentation to complete a detailed chronology from the early 1970’s up until Professor Bloom’s death in November 1992.  Those listening and watching the presentation were told that it was not intended to be the last word on the subject of Professor Bloom and more material was likely to be gathered post the evidence heard in the presentation.

The presentation discussed Professor Bloom’s approach to treatment, treatment development and the use of concentrates and pool sizes.  Ms Richards also provided documentation relating to Professor Bloom’s relationship with pharmaceutical companies and discussions with them relating to trials. The presentation also covered Dr Bloom’s relationship with, and his advice given to, The Haemophilia Society, especially in relation to HIV.  Also covered was the use of previously untreated patients (PUPs) and the guidelines that were in place in Cardiff in relation to the transfusion of concentrate or NHS factor or cryoprecipitate.

Key issues touched upon during the presentation were:

  • Professor Bloom’s reply to a letter from the Haemophilia Society on 19 January 1983 asking for clarification on reports of AIDS in the US in which he said there was ‘no evidence’ of a link with US concentrate products.
  • A letter to Professor Bloom from Dr Evatt in the US dated 7 March 1983 warning of the ‘frightening pace’ of AIDS, that AIDS was the second cause of death amongst haemophiliacs in the US in 1982 and that it would only be a matter of time before he saw such cases in the UK.
  • A statement issued by the Haemophilia Society written by Professor Bloom on 4 May 1983 saying ‘the cause of AIDS is quite unknown.. we should avoid precipitate action’. In this statement he said he was unaware of any ‘proven’ case of a UK haemophiliac with AIDs. A communicable disease report issued in the same week confirmed the first UK case of AIDS in a haemophiliac in Cardiff.
  • On 13 July 1983 a meeting of a subcommittee of the committee on safety of medicines attended by Professor Bloom and other experts ruled out withdrawing clotting factor concentrates or withdrawing US factor concentrates on the ‘”grounds of supply”.

During the presentation Ms Richards provided Sir Brian Langstaff with a number of questions that he in turn will need to answer in his report including if, as Professor Bloom said in documentation in 1983, haemophiliacs were not greatly concerned about AIDS, was this because of the information that Professor Bloom was providing to them?

For a full transcript of the presentation please visit: https://www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk/evidence where you can read the transcript or watch the evidence via YouTube video.

In relation to the presentation, Ms Richards closed the day by confirming that she had completed part one of three of the presentation.  Ms Richards reiterated that she was keen not to rush the presentation and did not want to overlook important material.  Parts two and three will be looking at patient experiences, through witness statements and evidence, and how they marry with the documentation and the content of the HIV Litigation Report prepared by Professor Bloom.

The dates for parts two and three will be announced by the Inquiry in the coming days and can be found here: https://www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk/www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk/haemophilia-clinicians-public-hearings/haemophilia-clinicians-public-hearings-timetable

 

 

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