MORE needs to be done to help scores of people who are living with hepatitis C contracted from contaminated blood.
That’s the message from the Haemophilia Society, which supports people with bleeding disorders.
Liz Carroll, chief executive of the society, said: ‘Almost everyone who was a haemophiliac who had a transfusion before 1991 would have been contaminated and we have identified them.
‘But the tricky situation is for people who had a transfusion for another reason, such as during childbirth or because of an accident.
‘Because the hepatitis C virus takes about 20 to 30 years to show signs, people will be unaware they are living with the condition.
‘The other problem is tracing it back to that one transfusion and if that was the cause or if it was because of lifestyle choices. But we are campaigning for a resolution for all those infected.’
It comes as there have been fresh pleas for a Hillsborough-style investigation into why the government allowed transfusions to take place, despite knowing the blood could have been tainted.
The majority of people affected by the blood scandal were haemophiliacs – a condition where blood doesn’t clot properly.
But the tainted blood was donated to many other people with different health conditions, such as Sally Vickers, of Railway View, Landport.
As reported in The News yesterday, the 53-year-old was born with a blood condition and had a transfusion when she was 14.
It was only 30 years later that Mrs Vickers was informed she had also contracted hepatitis C, which attacks the liver.
Mrs Vickers, a former communications manager for the Ministry of Defence, is calling for an inquiry and wants a formal apology.
The cause has been backed by Fareham MP Mark Hoban and Gosport’s Caroline Dinenage.
Ms Carroll added: ‘We want a public apology.
‘We also want a review of the care needs of all those who have been affected.
‘There needs to be additional support depending on a person’s needs, so they can have a reasonable quality of life. That could mean having more money, having better access to healthcare, certain prescription charges waived, or trying new medication.
‘We are also awaiting the Penrose Inquiry report.’
The Lord Penrose Public Inquiry was launched by the Scottish government to investigate the UK-wide scandal.
The £12m report is due out on March 25 this year.