To woman worried about 67-yr. old mom

I am doing research on liver disease and transplant for a novel and certainly don't want to appear insensitive to people dealing with serious health issues. I noticed a post on this forum from a woman whose mother who is very ill (suffering from Hepatitis from a blood transfusion years ago, and now end-stage liver disease). Her mom has cognitive/memory issues and can't answer all the daughter's questions. I joined the forum to comment on her situation, then could not find her post after being re-directed. The woman who posted thought perhaps her mom did not have the transfusion in England, and I wanted to offer this information to her. During the late 1980s, Canada had a tainted blood scandal. Thousands in Canada became infected with Hepatitis C and HIV because of blood that was improperly tested (or not tested at all). The Canadian Red Cross tried to cover up what they had done and later failed to contact people who might have been infected. Please pass this on to the woman who is worried about her mother (age 67, I believe). Could she have received a transfusion in Canada? If anyone wants more information, also google The Krever Inquiry-Canada.

10 Replies

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  • As far as I am aware It was only in 1991 that blood was tested for HCV. Up to that time the NHS UK bought some blood of their blood from the USA from questionable sources we understand, namely American prison inmates.

  • Yes, the Canadian Red Cross also paid for blood from inmates (among other sources). Between 1980 and 1990, about 30,000 recipients were infected with Hep C. (Between 1980 and 1985, many contracted HIV.) Reports suggest there are likely many people who have Hep C and don't know it. Hopefully, people will get tested if they ever received a transfusion during that period. Oddly enough, I lived in London and other parts of England during 1989. When I returned to Canada and tried to give blood, I was refused because I had lived in England during a certain time period. So they must not have had means to test the blood in Canada (or more likely, they didn't want to spend the money).

  • Mine was 1973, 14 pints - London. You can read my story if you wish.

  • Thanks for sharing, Tatjana. How do I find your story? Did you develop Hep C?

  • It happened to my best friend here in uk in 1980- she got hepc had a transplant about12 years ago but died ten years ago---it was infected blood from usa

  • That is such a tragedy. Did your friend get any compensation from the U.S. while she was dealing with Hep C? Or did they try in any way to contact her after they realized what had gone on? There are a lot of angry people in Canada as a result and many feel that this piece of our "history" was forgotten. There was a theatre play done about the scandal a few years ago, piecing together stories of individuals who were affected. I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.

  • Thank you--no her husband tried to get compensation after she died because he caught hepc off her as they both had pscorisis but when he sent away for her medical records there was nothing there on the blood transfusions.Which was strange because i visited her while she had two transfusions. I was there while they were transusing.

  • Hi, I think you mean my post before Christmas about my mum. After visiting my mums new specialist nurse ( no consultant at our hospital now) I really got to the bottom of things and discovered it wasn't the transfusion that infected her , it was years later . why I thought this all these year is a mystery but I'm really grateful you took time to think of us ❤️. I haven't posted on here for a while as things with my mum just keep getting worse experiencing every complication that comes with decompensated liver now and in and out of hospital all the time . I battled to get her referred for transplant even though all medical people said she's too ill and after they agreed my mum refused and just wants to stay at home and enjoy her grand kids a little longer. Thanks again for your concern, cathryn xxxx

  • My husband is in the medical field, dealing with children's heart conditions and sometimes, transplants. I know the transplant route is not easy, and if the doctors think she is too ill, they are likely correct. There is the potential for complications with a transplant in a person with other health issues. I think being at home and enjoying your family is a beautiful thing to do. Thoughts and prayers to you and your mom and family.

  • Thankyou for your reply, i know my mum has made the correct choice . She's very confused permanently now but when she refused I saw my old mum !!! ( she was a wizz in the courtroom) I could tell in her eyes she meant it. Every stay we have in hospital she get so anxious and upset, so we are staying at home as long as possible. We aren't doing bad to say the consultant gave her 2 weeks in September . Tell your husband to keep up the good work and thanks for your support ❤️

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