HC seeks report from TN on HIV blood transfusion

The 21-year-old youth, whose blood was donated to the pregnant woman, is battling for his life at the same hospital after he attempted suicide by consuming poison. (Representative image)

The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Tamil Nadu health secretary to file a detailed report by January 3 on a 24-year-old woman contracting the deadly HIV following transfusion of blood containing the virus at a government hospital in Virudhunagar district.

The high court took suo moto cognisance of the medical negligence even as the woman was shifted to the Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital for specialised treatment to ensure that the baby does not contract the disease.

Incidentally, the 21-year-old youth, whose blood was donated to the pregnant woman, is battling for his life at the same hospital after he attempted suicide by consuming poison.

The incident of transfusion of blood containing HIV virus to the woman hailing from a village near Sattur in Virudhunagar district came to light on Tuesday after the victim’s family made it public.

The pregnant woman was given the blood, which had HIV virus in it, during transfusion in early December but the doctors at the hospital called her back to the hospital following a call from the youth in question who alerted about him being infected with HIV after a random test conducted for his job enquiry revealed the presence of virus in his body.

The youth had donated blood during a donation camp conducted at the Sivakasi Government Hospital in 2016. Since the blood was marked safe by technicians at the lab, it was sent to the hospital in Sattur when the need arose. As the issue gained national attention, the government moved her to Madurai and the woman is now being treated by a team of doctors.

“She has been quarantined and a team of doctors led by a gynaecologist are looking into her health. We are taking every step to ensure that the baby does not get contracted by HIV. The woman will be under the special care of the doctors who will monitor her health round-the-clock,” S Shanmugasundaram, Dean of Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital, said.

He also said there have been cases of doctors saving the child from getting infected with HIV from the mother. “We have done it successfully in several cases and we are trying to make that happen in this case as well,” Shanmugasundaram said.

Shanmugasundaram also said that the youth was being treated at the ICU of the hospital and that his condition continues to be critical, but stable. The youth attempted suicide after the incident came to light on Tuesday.

Dr K Senthil Raj, Project Director of Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society began his inquiry into the medical negligence involved and visited the woman at the hospital.

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HC seeks report from TN on HIV blood transfusion

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