- Woman, 27, allegedly contracted HIV during blood transfusion in Chennai
- Was referred to the hospital when she was pregnant
- Donors had tested negative for the virus, hospital authorities said
Two days after a woman was allegedly infected by HIV due to a faulty medical procedure at a Tamil Nadu hospital, a similar case has now come to light in Chennai. A 27-year-old woman has accused doctors at the prominent Kilpauk Medical College Hospital of criminal negligence, alleging that she contracted the virus during a blood transfusion procedure in April.
Hospital authorities have denied the claim, and maintained that she may have contracted HIV through other means.
The woman has claimed that she was referred to the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital from a primary health care centre on the outskirts of the city in a pregnant state. The blood used for the transfusion, supposed to elevate her low haemoglobin levels, was sourced from two different donors.
While it has been confirmed that the woman is HIV-positive, hospital authorities maintain that both the donors had tested negative for the virus before and after the procedure. However, they couldn't say if the woman was admitted with the infection because she wasn't made to undergo the requisite test.
Dr P Vasanthamani, the Dean of Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, denied that it was a lapse on their part. "As she had come here in a semi-critical condition, we had no option but conduct the procedure on the basis of documents she produced. We just couldn't waste any time doing a test that would have taken three hours. Such a delay could have endangered her life. But our records clearly show that the donors were HIV-negative," she told NDTV, adding that the woman could have contracted the virus orally or through a sexual relationship.
The woman's three-month-old infant doesn't seem to be infected with the virus, thanks to the anti-retroviral treatment she had earlier undergone.
This case comes barely two days after a 24-year-old pregnant woman was found to have contracted the deadly virus under similar circumstances at a government hospital in the state's Virudhunagar district. Although the blood donor in this case was found to be HIV positive two years ago the counsellors failed to inform him after discarding his blood.
Unaware of his HIV positive status he donated blood yet again in November after tests showed him HIV negative. Authorities suspect the lab technicians did not do the test. Two lab technicians and a counsellor were suspended after the incident, and the government offered financial compensation as well as jobs to the woman and her husband. The Madras High Court and the National Human Rights Commission have also sought a report in this regard.