Note: The following is a medical bulletin received by the Delaware Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation in 1983 regarding the use of factor in the face of the AIDS epidemic. In transcribing the article, we’ve attempted to retain the source document’s formatting. To see the source document as it was sent, please look below our transcription.
The following was received from our National organization and we urge each of you to read this information. Once again, all hemophiliacs are urged to continue their use of blood products.
Medical Bulletin #7
Chapter advisory #8
NHF Urges Clotting Factor Use Be Maintained
Chapters — Please distribute this information to all chapter members.
Physicians — Please distribute this information to all providers who treat patients with hemophilia in your area.
Note: Any questions concerning the following information should be referred to your treating physician and/or NHF.
The NHF has recently recognized, and is concerned about, the fact that public media coverage of AIDS is causing some patients to abandon appropriate use of blood product because they fear contracting AIDS. The NHF AIDS task force considers this to be an inappropriate response and urges hemophiliacs to maintain the use of clotting factor in their treatment of hemorrhagic episodes.
In order to reduce the possible transmission of AIDS through blood products, the FDA has issued recommendations regarding the screening of potential donors for blood and plasma fractionation collection agencies. The guidelines have been developed from the screening criteria recommended by The NHF’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Council in January of 1983.
A recent event emphasizes the need for careful screening of donors and the maintenance of careful medical records. You should be aware that Hyland Therapeutics Division of Travenol Laboratories, Inc/ has judged it prudent for patient safety to recall a lot of AUTOPLEX. The need for such an action is not surprising, since a blood collection agency or plasma fractionation company may recognize the need to recall a product prepared from plasma of a high risk donor who later developed symptoms of AIDS during the period of plasma fractionation and distribution.
It is not the role of The NHF to judge the appropriateness of corporate decisions made by individual pharmaceutical companies. However, we urge that patients and treaters recognize the need for careful evaluation of blood products and not that such a recall action should not cause anxiety or changes in treatment programs.
We emphasize that the incidence of AIDS in hemophiliacs is very low (12 patients out of nearly 20,000) and that the life and health of hemophiliacs depends upon blood products.
The NHF recommends that patients maintain the use of concentrates or cryoprecipitate as prescribed by their physicians. If you have any questions regarding this matter, they should be directed to your treating physician and/or The NHF.