Pregnant woman contracts HIV after transfusion in TN

Government orders screening of blood bank stocks

The woman and her husband lodged a police complaint on Wednesday seeking action against the doctors, nurses and employees of the blood bank. (Image for representation)

A 24-year-old pregnant woman here contracted HIV allegedly after being transfused contaminated blood supplied by a blood bank which failed to conduct proper screening for the virus, prompting the Tamil Nadu government to order an examination of stocks in all blood banks of the state.

The services of three lab technicians of the blood bank attached to a government hospital in Sattur, near here, have been terminated, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said Wednesday.

Terming the incident as "disheartening and shocking", he said such a thing has never happened in the state so far. The Minister said a thorough probe into the incident was underway and promised stringent action against those found guilty.

The woman and her husband lodged a police complaint on Wednesday seeking action against the doctors, nurses and employees of the blood bank.

The state government said it was making all efforts to prevent the impact of the virus on the woman, and stocks in all blood banks would be reviewed to ensure that such incidents did not recur.

Joint Director of Health Services, Virudhunagar, R Manoharan told PTI the woman was admitted to a private hospital in Sattur for the birth of her second child and the doctors advised her to have a blood transfusion citing haemoglobin deficiency.

Blood brought from the blood bank was transfused to her.

It later emerged that the donor was HIV positive, the official said, adding the recipient's blood was also tested, which confirmed that she too had got infected by the virus.

Preliminary inquiry revealed that the blood bank staff had failed to screen the blood properly before supplying it to the private hospital.

The personnel who tested the donor's blood had labelled it 'safe,' officials said.

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.

Lakhs of persons were provided with blood component annually including in the form of blood and "there have been no complaints (of such nature) so far and this is the first time which is shocking," he told reporters in Chennai.

Talking to reporters, the woman's husband held the Tamil Nadu government responsible for the incident and demanded that it provide the best treatment to her.

He said he does not want any job from the government but only the best treatment for his wife.

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan visited the district and spoke to the woman. Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said the district collector had expressed 'regret' to the family through the revenue divisional officer.

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Pregnant woman contracts HIV after transfusion in TN

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