IT is not known what happened to a “substantial percentage” of blood components taken from HIV-infected donors by one transfusion service, an inquiry has heard.

The Infected Blood Inquiry was told yesterday that when HIV screening began in the mid-1980s, the South East Scotland Blood Transfusion Service (SEBTS) tried to identify the recipients of any blood and blood products from infected donors.

However, the “eventual fate” of all of the components could not be established.

The UK-wide inquiry is being held to examine how patients were given infected blood and blood products, leading to thousands contracting HIV, Aids and/or hepatitis in the 1970s and 1980s. About 2400 people died.

Dr Jack Gillon, who was consultant haematologist with SEBTS from 1985 to 2006, said when a donor was identified as positive they were informed and offered support. Serum samples from their previous donations were then analysed to establish when they may have become infected, and efforts were made to discover what had happened to the blood.

Giving evidence remotely, Gillon said: “I would get a list of the previous donations, what components had been produced, if plasma had gone to PFC (Plasma Fractionation Centre) that would have been notified to PFC immediately, and then the fate of those various components would be explored.

“We would know to which blood banks the components had gone in the region or elsewhere and we would then contact the relevant hospital blood banks to try to establish the identity of the recipient.”

Sarah Fraser Butlin asked what problems he faced during the tracing process.

He said: “The biggest problem by far was missing hospital records or failure to record the eventual fate of a blood component.”

The inquiry, taking place before chairman Sir Brian Langstaff, continues.