Professor Arthur Bloom: a tribute

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  • Professor Arthur Bloom: a tribute It was with great sadness that we learnt of the untimely death of Arthur Bloom at the age of 62 years, on Thursday 12 November 1992. I had the privilege of being part of Arthurâs team in the University Hospital of Wales for 18 years, and owe him a great deal. Although the Journal has not in the past noted the passing of eminent haematologists, I am sure that the readers will appreciate the close association between myself and Arthur and recognize the appropriateness of this text. Arthur Bloom was a native of South Wales and although he qualified in medicine in the North of England he returned to Wales in 1960 to join the Welsh National School of Medicine (now the University of Wales College of Medicine). His rapid progress as one of the new âhaematologistsâ led to an MD in 1963 based on his research into the clot- promoting properties of blood cell contents, the contact activation of blood coagulation in the presence of heparin and DIC. Subsequent laboratory and clinical research into the haemophilias and von Willebrandâs disease led to the award of a personal chair by the University of Wales in 1976. During the 1980s he actively encouraged the developments in molecular biology and genetics which have so revolutionized our understanding of the inherited bleeding disorders, quickly recognizing the potential benefits to patients and their families. His many books, chapters and publications are quoted widely, and his textbook, Haemostasis and Thrombosis, which he edited with his close friend Duncan Thomas, is a lasting tribute to his depth of understanding. He was a member of the Board of the British Journal of Haematology from 1972 and served as an associate editor for several years. He was a past President of the British Society for Haematology and of the British Society for Haemostasis and Thrombosis. He had also been Chairman of the Council of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Arthur was an outstanding figure in the world of haemophilia care. His position as Director of the Cardiff Haemophilia Centre was his principal commitment, and those of us who worked with him were never allowed to forget the needs ofhis patients and their families. He was Chairman of the UK Haemophilia Centre Directors for several years, and had held important positions with the World Federation of Haemophilia. However, his most important role was that he was âthereâ, both nationally and internationally, to give advice and encouragement both at the formal lecture, over lunch or coffee, or at the end of a telephone. The impact of HIV within the haemophilia community left its mark on Arthur, as it did with haemophilia treaters world-wide. The change from the halcyon days of the late 1970s, when new products were beginning to revolutionize the life of the haemophi- liac, to the despair of the mid 1980s, when the full impact of BIV had become apparent, was devastating to all concerned. To provide balanced advice and practical wisdom in such a time of accusation and uncertainty required exceptional talents, and Arthur had them in abundance. Arthur will be greatly missed by friends and colleagues alike. He was a kind and gentle scholar. IAN PEAKE