Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 09:43 UK

Infected blood answers 'needed'

Colette Wintle
Ms Wintle is part of a rare group of women who have haemophilia

A haemophiliac from Worcestershire is to hear the last day of an inquiry into how she and thousands of others were given infected blood products.

Colette Wintle, of Lower Broadheath, was infected with Hepatitis B and C during NHS treatment for her condition.

Last year she gave evidence at the Archer Inquiry looking at how 5,000 people were exposed to contaminated blood in the 1970s and 1980s.

The blood products came from the United States, the inquiry has heard.

Ms Wintle, 48, a former model, air hostess and nurse, said she wanted to find out who was responsible for the contaminated blood being given to patients like herself.

The Department of Health previously told the hearing in London that the government of the day had acted in good faith, given the information available.

Haemophilia is a rare inherited bleeding disorder in which blood does not clot normally.

Plasma products

It usually only affects men, but Ms Wintle is part of a rare group of women who have the condition.

Currently, it can only be treated by injections of the clotting chemical, known as Factor VIII.

In the early 1970s, patients were treated with blood proteins that came in dry powder form and could then be reconstituted with water - plasma from 10,000 donors went into the product.

The treatment usually came from the US as patients there were paid for giving blood.

In 1981 it was also found that some plasma products were infected with HIV.

However, after the mid-1980s those products were treated with heat to kill viruses.

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