Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Government has ordered screening of all the stocks in the state blood banks following the horrid instance of a 24-year-old pregnant woman in Sattur contracting HIV after being transfused contaminated blood supplied by a blood bank that had failed to conduct proper screening of its stock for the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old male donor has been admitted to hospital at Sivakasi after he consumed poison to kill himself out of fear he might be questioned by the police.
The services of three lab technicians of the blood bank attached to the government hospital at Sattur, near Virudhunagar, have been terminated for causing the tragedy to the Sattur woman, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said Wednesday.
Terming the incident as "disheartening and shocking", he claimed such a thing has never happened in Tamil Nadu so far. A thorough probe was now on into the unfortunate incident, he said, while promising stringent action against those found guilty.
A detailed medical treatment is also underway for the woman to ensure the virus does not affect her foetus, the minister said, adding, the government is also giving all livelihood assistance to the family. Lakhs of people were provided with blood component annually including in the form of blood and "there have been no complaints (of such nature) so far and this is the first time which is shocking," he told reporters here.
The woman and her husband lodged a police complaint at Sattur on Wednesday seeking action against the doctors, nurses and employees of the blood bank. Following this, police said FIR has been registered against doctors and nurses involved in the transfusion of blood, besides the blood bank workers for medical negligence under relevant IPC sections.
The government has claimed efforts were on to prevent the impact of the virus on the victim woman, and stocks in all blood banks would be reviewed to ensure that such incidents did not recur.
Joint Director of Health Services at Virudhunagar, R Manoharan told PTI the woman, who was eight months pregnant with her second child, had gone for a check-up at a private clinic in Sattur where doctors advised her to have a blood transfusion citing haemoglobin deficiency.
She then underwent blood transfusion at the Sattur government hospital and the blood was brought from the blood bank at Sivakasi. It later emerged that the donor was HIV positive, the official said, adding the recipient's blood was also tested, which confirmed that she had been infected by the virus.
Police said the 19-year-old donor, on coming to know about the incident, allegedly attempted to commit suicide by consuming poison. He has been admitted to a hospital.
They said he was employed at a local fireworks unit in Sivakasi. He had donated blood for a girl, his relative, who was seriously ill.
However, the blood-group did not match and it was kept in the blood bank. Subsequently, when he went for a health check at Madurai for an overseas job, he tested HIV positive, officials said.
After the Sattur disaster, the donor apprehended he might be questioned by police for no fault of his and attempted suicide. Preliminary inquiry revealed that the blood bank staff had failed to screen the blood properly before supplying it to the private hospital.
The personnel who tested the donor’s blood had labelled it ‘safe,’ officials said.
Talking to reporters at Sattur, the woman's husband held the government responsible for the incident and demanded that it provide the best treatment to her. He said he does not want any job from the government but only the best treatment for his wife. Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan visited the district and spoke to the woman. If the woman wanted to get treated in a private hospital, she would be provided all help, he said.
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said the district collector had expressed ‘regret’ to the family through the revenue divisional officer. DMK president M K Stalin lashed out at the ruling AIADMK over the incident, saying it showed how state-run hospitals function “under this corrupt government”.
—(With PTI report)...