Professor Lowe opened his evidence by discussing his medical background. The Inquiry heard how Professor Lowe was a General Registrar at Glasgow Royal Infirmary between November 1974 to December 1977. From 1985 onwards Professor Lowe was a consultant haematologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and became co-director of the haemophilia centre in 1988.
During the first day of Professor Lowe’s evidence, Jenni Richards QC asked Professor Lowe about the number of haemophiliacs he treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in 1975 compared with how many haemophiliacs they were treating in 1985. Professor Lowe said that in 1975, 103 patients had haemophilia A whilst 15 patients had haemophilia B. In contrast, by 1985, 211 patients had haemophilia A and 56 patients had haemophilia B.
Ms Richards QC then asked Professor Lowe about the type of treatment that was used at the Royal Infirmary. Professor Lowe answered by stating that very little commercial concentrate was used at the Royal Infirmary and that they attempted to use NHS concentrates where possible. He went onto state that due to the remoteness of some areas of Scotland, many local hospitals would treat patients with cryoprecipitate and plasma supplied by the reference centres.
Professor Lowe told the Inquiry that commercial concentrates were only used by Glasgow Royal Infirmary when a patient was due to undergo surgery.
Ms Richards QC then went onto discuss the matter of patients’ records. Professor Lowe stated it was normal procedure at the Infirmary’s haemophilia centre to preserve the records of haemophilia patients.
Professor Lowe then told the Inquiry about the chain of command in terms of ordering blood products. He stated that only consultant haematologists that worked at the Infirmary’s blood bank and blood laboratory were able to order blood products.
In terms of knowledge of non-a, non-b hepatitis, Professor Lowe stated that he did not have any knowledge of this until around 1975. During that time, he was registered for a conference by Dr Forbes and Dr Prentice where Dr Craske was speaking about a reported outbreak of non-a non-b hepatitis.