TAMIL NADU: A pregnant woman tested positive for HIV after receiving infected blood at a government hospital in Sattur, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, local media reported.
According to The Hindu, the woman, who was being treated for anemia, received blood from the Sivakasi Government Hospital on 3 December. The blood was from a donor who did not know he had tested positive for HIV in 2016 after donating blood to a government hospital.
He donated blood again on November 30 this year.
Soon after his recent donation, he underwent a medical checkup and discovered that he was HIV positive. He then went to Sivakasi Government Hospital to inform them. At the hospital, he did another test, which confirmed the result.
This triggered a catheter, during which donated blood was traced back to the Sattur Government Hospital.
The pregnant woman, who had undergone blood transfusion, was tested and considered HIV positive.
State Secretary of Health, J Radhakrishnan, told the New Indian Express that she began having symptoms like chills, fever and diarrhea weeks after the transfusion.
The official said, "While the first level of inquiry was conducted to identify where the error occurred, we will conduct further investigations to identify all loose ends," he said. "We will also strengthen the counseling procedure to improve screening."
Dr. K Senthil Raj, project director of the State AIDS Control Society, said in the Express report that it was believed that the lab technician had been careless with the procedure. "The lab technician labeled the blood as Negative HIV and stored it. The technician says he was negative when tested, "he said.
"We ended the services of the lab technician, who gave the daily report, the counselor who did not identify that the donor was in the high risk category and the blood bank physician.
"While this incident is a serious mistake and has given an important lesson to the Department of Health, this should not create panic around blood donation, since the blood bank system has been extremely crucial to the success of our system. Cheers."
The donor's blood was to be transfused into one of his relatives, but it was not used, reported The Hindu. "It was this unit, kept in the blood bank, which was delivered to Sattur GH," said Deputy Director of Health Services (Virudhunagar) R. Manoharan.
"It was the duty of the ICTC (Anti-Retroviral Therapy Center) counselor to track the man and inform him" after he tested positive in 2016, he said.
The Hindu quoted him as saying that steps would be taken to provide the woman with adequate compensation. "The Secretary of Health promised to take this to the government. Meanwhile, we offer the job of a driver at the government hospital for the wife's husband. "
Doctors also promised to take care of the woman after the accident. She must give birth in January. It remains to be determined whether the baby would be infected with HIV.