Blood: Contamination

Department of Health written question – answered on 16th January 2015.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat, Westmorland and Lonsdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate his Department has made of the number of deaths caused by infection with HIV or hepatitis C through exposure to contaminated blood and blood products.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Review of the Support Available to Individuals Infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV by NHS-supplied Blood Transfusions or Blood Products and their Dependants, which this Government published in January 2011, included estimates that around 1,300 individuals had been infected with HIV through treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products, of whom approximately 400 remained alive at the end of 2010. Similarly, it is estimated that around 33,000 individuals may have been infected with hepatitis C, of whom it is estimated that approximately 9,000 remained alive in 2003. The Department does not hold information on the cause of death; however, it is likely that many of those infected with hepatitis C will have died of unrelated causes.

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sally vickers
Posted on 21 Feb 2015 1:52 pm (Report this annotation)

I have a large understanding of HIV and HEPC and most people with HepC only die of unrelated causes in the early stages. The latter stages fibrosis upwards causes many life threatening problems, so to point out, the diseases are different but not in anyway less or more than the other, therefore the death toll would possibly be higher in HepC as more people have it. Since The Review of the Support Available to Individuals Infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV by NHS-supplied Blood Transfusions or Blood Products and their Dependants is very out of date now, as more and more people have found the have these diseases, maybe a correct number for 2015 should be put up. For example 5000 victims of HIV is more of the correct current number, of which over 2000 have now passed away. The number for HEPC is higher because it is never tested for, plus the affects are mostly never seen until it is either too late or at the point of cirrohsis or fibrosis, this is normally found out because infected persons go to their respective doctors with many ailments and are treated for the ailments, not knowing the cause is actually HEPC. HepC kills the same percentage as those with HIV. There are more treatments for HIV than HEPC, this also raises the count of HEPC related deaths.