A pregnant woman in Sivakasi India was recently transfused with HIV positive blood from a an Indian hospital after health workers failed to screen it.
The incidence happened in Sattur government hospital where the donor had donated blood for his anemic relative. However, his relative’s blood need had been met, hence the blood was screened and labelled ‘safe’.
Three days later, the pregnant woman visited the hospital and required blood transfusion. Unlucky for her, the blood which had the HIV virus was used on her.
The donor who was required to attend a job interview was required to have HIV tests done. Two tests proved beyond reasonable doubt that he was HIV positive, raising fears that he could have infected another person through blood transfusion.
An immediate search of the donated blood began, but it was too late since it had been transfused to the pregnant woman. She was summoned to the hospital and upon tests, she was confirmed to have been infected.
Further investigations revealed that the donor was found to be infected in 2016 at the facility during a blood donation camp. The hospital however failed to inform him directly, only summoning him for having ‘a rare blood group’.
“It should never have happened. We have initiated technical inquiries to find out how it happened. This will not be repeated again,” said Dr Senthil Raj, project director, Tamil NaduAids Control Society.
Infections resulting from blood transfusion are a rare occurrence. Since 1985, blood banks have adopted stricter screening measures to identify blood with HIV. Now all blood donations are carefully tested for HIV. If they test positive, they’re discarded.
As a result of the Indian case, three health workers of the blood bank where it happened are under investigation.
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