Tamil Nadu: Pregnant woman transfused with HIV-infected blood at govt hospital

Tamil Nadu government also said stocks in all blood banks would be reviewed to ensure that such incidents did not recur

Pregnant woman tests HIV positive after Tamil Nadu govt hospital gives infected blood

In an outrageous incident depicting negligence of government hospital in Sattur, Tamil Nadu, blood from an HIV positive patient was transferred to a 23-year-old pregnant woman earlier this month. The woman was administered blood from an HIV-positive young man on December 3 after lab technicians at a government blood bank found nothing wrong in the tests.

Incidentally, the blood donor had donated blood in 2016 at a donation camp in Sivakasi, however, due to the negligence of the counsellor at ICTC, they did not bother to trace and inform him about his condition. Later, when he underwent a medical check-up before applying for a job overseas, he was tested positive for HIV. He then approached the government hospital in Sivakasi, where a fresh test re-confirmed that he was HIV positive. They found that it was sent to Sattur Government Hospital where it was transfused to the pregnant woman. During the course of the treatment, she was given a blood transfusion with HIV positive blood by accident. Her symptoms included chills, fever and diarrhoea.

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan visited the district and spoke to the woman.

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"She will be monitored and screened regularly, we are talking all necessary actions", said Dr Senthil Raj IAS, who has been overseeing the crisis, to TNM.

A team of medical officials from the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society deputy director, Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Centre, and others conducted the initial probe.

The donor underwent a blood test at a private lab in Viridhunagar. The health department has formed a high-level committee to investigate the matter. The transfusion of unscreened blood came to light on Tuesday only by chance, after the donor of the infected blood was made aware of his condition elsewhere. "It was this unit, kept in the blood bank, which was given to Sattur GH", said Joint Director of Health Services (Virudhunagar) R. Manoharan.

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A detailed medical treatment is also underway for the woman to ensure the virus does not affect her foetus, the minister said, adding, the government is also giving all livelihood assistance to the family.

The Hindu quoted him as saying that steps would be taken to provide the woman with appropriate compensation. The husband said that he does not want any job from the government but only the best treatment for his wife.

Doctors have also promised to take care of the woman following the mishap.

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