Rs 20 lakh for boy transfused with HIV-infected blood

Rs 20 lakh for boy transfused with HIV-infected blood

File Photo for representation

A city civil court has directed the dean of the Institute of Child Health and Hospital here to pay Rs 20 lakh as compensation to a boy for transfusion of HIV-infected blood after surgery.

The XVIIth additional city civil court judge V Thenmozhe, who gave the order recently, said, The hospital has not produced any documentary evidence to prove the fact that the blood transfused to the boy was tested or screened to exclude that the blood was not affected by HIV and other viruses."

The hospital, citing the rule of Drugs and Cosmetics 1940, contended that the records concerned would be kept only for five years and then destroyed.

No proof was produced by the hospital that the records were destroyed.

The judge said the doctors of the government hospital, who treated the boy were liable for medical negligence.

As a tortuous liability, the dean of the hospital who is the employer of the doctors and employees are liable to pay the compensation," the judge said.

According to the boy's mother, he was affected by diarrhoea and vomiting in December 1998 when he was seven months old and the boy was admitted to the government children's hospital in February 1999.

The doctors said the boy's small and large intestines were intertwined and required surgery.

The doctors said the patient needed more blood.

The surgery was conducted and the blood was transmitted.

Within two days of discharge, the child again fell ill and was admitted as an inpatient.

Again after discharge, the boy was affected with severe cold and swelling in his neck and the doctors advised the parents to take the boy to Thoracic Medicine, Tambaram Sanitorium.

After several medical tests, the doctors there said the child was affected by HIV.

According to the boy's parents, the physical and mental distress suffered by them has to be compensated at least monetarily.

They further contended that if the hospital authorities had informed them of the risk of transmission of the blood, they would have arranged their relatives to donate the blood for the child.

The judge said the doctors of the government children's hospital, who treated the victim, are liable for the medical negligence and directed to pay Rs 20 lakh with interest at 6 per cent per annum from the date of filing the suit till the date of realisation.