HC relief to pregnant woman transfused with HIV

The Madras High Court ordered Rs 25 lakh compensation, government job and a house for a pregnant woman. (File Photo)

The Madras High Court on Friday ordered Rs 25 lakh compensation, government job and a house for a pregnant woman, who was transfused with HIV-infected blood at a state-run hospital in Sattur where she was treated for anaemia in December 2018.

Hearing a PIL, a division bench of the court's Madurai bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar directed that Rs 10 lakh be deposited in the name of the 23-year-old woman and the remaining Rs 15 lakh in the name of her two children.

Also, it ordered that the woman be provided a house measuring not less than 450 sq feet.

The judges said the order must be carried out by January 11.

The petitioner submitted that the woman got the infection as the blood transfused was not properly screened.

The PIL had also sought a direction to the government to fill vacancies in the Tamil Nadu AIDS Control Board and that the woman should be given proper treatment.

The pregnant woman was affected by the transfusion of infected blood from a blood bank, the petitioner submitted, adding the blood donor was also not aware that he was HIV positive.

Three workers of the government hospital at Sivakasi have been suspended as they failed to screen the blood properly, according to the petitioner.

The man who donated the blood at Sivakasi in November 2018 was also not informed about the status.

The donor came to know about his condition when he underwent a medical check-up some days after donating the blood.

The judge said nurses, counsellors and blood bank technicians should be recruited as per the conditions of the National AIDS Control Organisation, and the government should monitor the blood banks, ART (antiretroviral therapy) centres and medical documents. Besides, they should check if the equipment is maintained properly and inspected frequently by authorised people, the judges said.

An expert committee should be formed to make blood donation and transfusion safe, the court added.

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