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Tamil Nadu hospital horror: HIV-infected blood given to pregnant woman

This Gross Medical Lapse Is Yet Another Stark Reminder Of Poor Healthcare Situation In India

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Surabhi Pandey | Updated on: 26 Dec 2018, 01:50:37 PM
Photo for representational purpose only

New Delhi:

A pregnant woman undergoing treatment for anaemia was given HIV-infected blood at a government hospital in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district. Three lab technicians have been suspended after the gross medical negligence came to light. According to media reports, the woman was given the HIV-infected blood on December 3. The blood was brought from the Sivakasi Government Hospital. The lab technicians at the blood bank in the hospital failed the due diligence. They didn’t inform either the donor or the patient about the HIV status of the particular unit of blood. It took more than two years before this shocking lapse could be unearthed.

The probe revealed that a man had donated blood at the government hospital in 2016. The hospital failed to inform him that he was detected HIV-Positive. Two years later, the same man again donated blood on November 30.

It was around this time that the man went for a series of medical checkups for his job application abroad. The tests revealed that he was HIV-Positive. He went for another blood test to confirm the HIV status.

In between all this, the pregnant woman was given the same blood brought from the Sivakasi government hospital. Probe began only when the donor himself told the hospital about the HIV status.

This led to the horrific lapse of administering HIV-Positive blood to the pregnant woman. Now, the state government is saying that it will bear all the medical expenses of the woman. The woman is being counselled for the HIV treatment.

“While the first level of inquiry has been conducted to identify where the mistake took place, we will conduct further investigations to identify all loose ends,” Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express. According to Dr K Senthil Raj, project director of the State AIDS Control Society, “The lab technician labelled the blood as HIV Negative and stored it. The technician claims it was negative when tested,” he said. “We have terminated the services of the lab technician, who gave the daily report, the counsellor who did not identify that the donor was in the high-risk category, and the blood bank’s medical officer,” he added.  

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First Published : 26 Dec 2018, 01:50:24 PM