In 1990, medical politicians conducted a hostile takeover of the Wadley Research Institute and Blood Bank, in fear of the economic consequences of doing a hepatitis C lookback. That ended 56 years of service by my father in 1975, then myself in 1990, as the medical directors/CEOs of the principle blood bank in Dallas Texas. In the 1980s, AIDS, then hepatitis C viruses were discovered. Blood banks began screening donations for these viruses to protect patients receiving the blood. But what about patients who were infected by transfusions before screening tests were developed?
There was no way to know how long a donor had been infected. I advocated finding patients who had received donors' blood in previous years to learn if they were infected. Patients needed to know their health was in danger and there was a risk of passing the infection to their loved ones and others. The notification procedure known as "lookback" was strongly opposed within the medical community. This is a history of scientific progress, medical politics and the betrayal of patients by trusted officials concerning AIDS and hepatitis C.