The School Killed By Contaminated Blood: Of 122 Boys Infected Only 30 Are Still Alive

Only 30 out of 122 boys infected with HIV and hepatitis at Lord Mayor Treloar College between 1970 and 1987 are alive today, as revealed by the Infected Blood Inquiry’s final report, depicting a tragic legacy of medical negligence.

The School Killed By Contaminated Blood: Of 122 Boys Infected Only 30 Are Still Alive 1

According to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s final report, schoolchildren who were at risk of HIV and hepatitis were treated like “objects for research” and were utilized as such.

Only thirty of the 122 students with hemophilia who attended Lord Mayor Treloar College between 1970 and 1987 are still living. Of the students who attended the school in the 1970s and 1980s, “very few escaped being infected.”

An NHS center was located on the Hampshire boarding school campus, where students received medical care. Nonetheless, a large number of students who had the illness had received treatment using plasma blood products contaminated with HIV and hepatitis.

In his 2,527-page report, which was made public on Monday, inquiry chairman Sir Brian Langstaff concluded that children at Treloar’s were given various commercial concentrates, each of which was known to increase the risk of infection.

He added that staff members prioritized the “advancement of research” over the welfare of the kids.

Sir Brian said: “The pupils were often regarded as objects for research, rather than first and foremost as children whose treatment should be firmly focused on their individual best interests alone. This was unethical and wrong.”

The School Killed By Contaminated Blood: Of 122 Boys Infected Only 30 Are Still Alive 2
John Peach with his sons Jason and Leigh at Mr Peach’s wedding in 1987. Leigh and Jason, who were both pupils at Lord Mayor Treloar College, were diagnosed with HIV and Hepatitis B after treatments given at the school and died of AIDS in the early 90s (Infected Blood Inquiry/PA Wire)

The medical staff at Treloar’s was “without a doubt” aware of the dangers of viral transmission through blood and blood products, according to his assessment.

Not only was it a basic component of Treloar’s and a requirement for research, but the physicians there at the time demonstrated awareness of the risks in their writings.

“Practice at Treloar’s shows that the clinical staff were well aware that their heavy use of commercial concentrate risked causing Aids,” he continued.

The report revealed that practitioners continued with higher-risk treatments despite knowing the risks to advance their studies.

Sir Brian wrote: “It is difficult to avoid a conclusion that the advancement of research was favored above the immediate best interest of the patient.”

The School Killed By Contaminated Blood: Of 122 Boys Infected Only 30 Are Still Alive 3
Rebecca Pagliaro with her father Neil King in 1986, who was co-infected with both HIV and hepatitis C while receiving treatment for hemophilia during his time boarding at Lord Mayor Treloar College in the 1970s. He died in 1996 when he was 38-years-old (Family handout/PA Wire)

While attending Treloar’s college, Richard Warwick, 58, contracted hepatitis C and HIV, and he told The Guardian that the students there were considered “expendable.”

He said: “We were given injections of different types of factor VIII [the infected blood product] – it was all prepared in syringes for us. They were chopping and changing different manufacturers in batches in what today would be called infectivity trials. We were eight- or nine-year-old kids.

“I hate the term guinea pig, but that’s what we were. We were ‘cheaper than chimps’ as was stated in a letter at the time.”

Haemophilia is a genetic condition in which blood does not clot properly. The majority of patients with the illness are deficient in Factor VIII, a protein that allows blood to clot in humans.

The missing clotting agent was replaced in the 1970s with factor concentrate, a novel medication derived from donated human blood plasma.

Established in 1908, the Lord Mayor Treloar College (now known as Treloar’s) provided disadvantaged students with an enhanced opportunity to acquire both an education and any necessary medical care.

In 1978, the boys’ school combined with the girls’ school to establish a coeducational institution.

Boys with hemophilia started attending the school in 1956. Following the discovery that students had received contaminated blood plasma, the school’s NHS clinic was shut down.

The whole scope of this terrible national tragedy is revealed in the report of the inquiry, according to a statement released by Treloar School and College. We hope that the findings bring some comfort to the families of our former students, as we are heartbroken that some of them were so cruelly affected.

“The report lays bare the systemic failure at the heart of the scandal.”

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported on a preprint where Japanese scientists cautioned against blood transfusions from recipients of mRNA vaccines. They highlight potential complications associated with receiving blood from individuals who have had mRNA COVID-19 shots.

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