HIV positive blood given to pregnant woman at Tamil Nadu govt hospital

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The HIV positive blood had been donated by a young man on November 30 and given to the woman on December 3 after technicians at a government blood bank’s laboratory found nothing wrong in the tests.

A 24-year-old pregnant woman tested positive for HIV after being given a blood transfusion at a government hospital in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district.

The HIV positive blood had been donated by a young man on November 30 and given to the woman on December 3 after technicians at a government blood bank’s laboratory found nothing wrong in the tests.

However, when the man went for a subsequent test to a private clinic, he tested positive for HIV there. He had gone to the private lab to get his blood tested before applying for a job abroad.

However, by the time he could alert the hospital, the blood had already been administered to the woman.

Three lab workers have been suspended for their lapses in conducting the tests. The man had tested positive for both HIV and Hepatitis B two years ago at a blood donation camp. However, at that time, the lab officials did not store his record or inform him of his HIV-positive status.

The affected woman has lodged a complaint with police, seeking action against hospital staff.

The woman has been put on anti-retroviral treatment because doctors say instant detection gives her a chance to live a long life. But the family now has to wait till she delivers her baby to find out if the baby too has been infected with HIV.

District Medical Deputy Director Manoharan has ordered a re-test of all blood samples at 10 government blood banks and four private blood banks.

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