Tamil Nadu: Child contracts HIV, parents blame hospital

This comes less than two months after a pregnant woman admitted at a government hospital in Sattur was transfused with HIV positive blood. 

Published: 20th February 2019 04:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2019 04:59 AM   |  A+A-

Representative picture of blood transfusion

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: In a shocking case, parents of a two-year-old girl from Coimbatore have claimed that their child has contracted HIV through blood transfusion at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, where she was admitted for cardiac treatment. While tests have confirmed that the child is HIV positive, hospital officials claim it is not because of the transfusion at their facility. 

This comes less than two months after a pregnant woman admitted at a government hospital in Sattur was transfused with HIV positive blood. 

The child’s father says the blood transfusion happened on July 12, 2018. “The doctors stopped the transfusion midway, saying the blood had been collected from an ‘old man’ and was wrongly given to my child. They then discharged her the very next day and forced us to undergo treatment as an outpatient,” he says. 

“Later, we noticed lumps all over her body. We took her back to CMCH on February 6 and they referred us to their ICTC centre. Test results confirmed that our child was HIV positive.” Later, the CMCH doctors asked the parents and the child’s twin brother to undergo tests. “None of us have HIV except our daughter. It is clear that she contracted the virus through blood transfusion.”       

Doctors claim the blood was screened before being donated. After the issue came to light, the donated blood samples were sent to CMCH, Vellore for tests which allegedly confirmed it was not HIV positive. The State Health Department has initiated an inquiry into the issue and the hospital has submitted a preliminary report.

Not even two months have passed since a pregnant woman admitted in a government hospital in Sattur was transfused with HIV positive blood. Now, parents of a 2-year-old girl from Coimbatore have claimed their daughter contracted the virus through blood transfusion at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. 
Sources said the girl's mother gave birth to twin babies on March 6, 2017 at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in Tiruchy. As the newborns were underweight, they were kept in the hospital for 32 days. A year later, the girl child, who has now been infected, was admitted again at Tiruchy Government Hospital for cardiac treatment.     

Later, as the couple shifted to Tirupur, they took the child to Government Tirupur  Hospital in July 2018. However, doctors there referred the child to CMCH the very next day. She was admitted on July 11, 2018 at CMCH for cardiac treatment and underwent transfusion on July 12, 2018.   
“Between 2017 and 2018, the child was vaccinated in an Anganwadi centre. Give these information, it looks like she contracted the virus at CMCH through blood transfusion,” says I Aseer, coordinator of the NGO People’s Watch. “We demand an inquiry be conducted by the CB-CID or the CBI.”

When asked, CMCH Dean Dr B Asokan said: “The baby was brought here in July 2018. Before that, she had undergone treatment for six weeks at the Tiruchy hospital. We provided 50 ml packed red blood cells from CMCH blood bank. When the issue came out, we rechecked the blood kit at Vellore CMCH. The test confirmed that the blood was not HIV positive.”

Dr Asokan added: “The parents had taken the child to several other hospitals for treatment before coming here. It is possible she contracted the virus somewhere there.” The hospital has said the same in the report submitted to the government. Health secretary Beela Rajesh said the packed cells donated to the child was found to be negative. “However, we have to look at how many times the child was admitted.”

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