Blood boils

Call it a shocking incident. Blood from a HIV-infected person was transfused into a young pregnant woman at a government hospital in Sattur a few days ago. What is more shocking is that the incident came to light when the blood donor voluntarily informed the lab technicians at Sivakasi Government Hospital, where he had made the donation, that he was tested positive for HIV. Now for no fault of hers, the woman has tested positive for HIV. The lab technician labelled the blood as HIV-Negative and stored it. The technician claims it was negative when tested.

The transmission of HIV from a positive mother to an unborn child depends on the viral load, say doctors. The highest risk of transmission occurs early on in the acute phase of exposure, because that is when there is a high viral load present. Rather than blaming each other, it is now time to ensure that such acts never happen again. Investigations should be done to identify all loose ends. The procedure should be strengthened to improve the screening.

A vacation bench of the Madurai High Court has initiated proceedings on the matter suo motu. The bench ordered Additional Advocate-General P H Aravind Pandian, who was present in the court Thursday, to file a detailed report on the action taken to treat the woman at the Rajaji Government Hospital in Madurai, and the disciplinary proceedings taken against the negligent staff attached to the Sattur hospital, after obtaining instructions from the government.

NT Bureau