The detection of HIV in an 18-month-old girl at a private hospital at Kothapet here baffled her parents and doctors alike as neither her parents tested positive nor were there other routes of transmission such as infected blood or disposables.

The parents, who suspected that the doctors might have transfused infected blood, lodged a complaint with the police, casting doubts on treatment given in the hospital for pneumonia with which the girl was admitted on February 28.

Doctors refute charge

Doctors refuted the allegations at a press conference convened under the aegis of Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday while a sample of the blood that was transfused to the sick child was sent to the Government General Hospital for screening. The girl was suffering from pneumonia for which treatment was started on the said date and the child was given blood transfusion on March 8 after she was diagnosed with severe anaemia.

With the girl showing little improvement even after blood transfusion, doctors believed that her immune system was deficient, probably due to HIV, and their fears came true when she tested ‘positive’. The doctors immediately got her parents tested for HIV, but the result was negative. The possibility of infected blood or disposables causing the disease was ruled out as the relevant protocols were strictly adhered to, the doctors claimed. The quality of the donor’s blood was tested before transfusion and also after the girl was found to be afflicted with HIV for allaying apprehensions.

The ball is now in the court of GGH to pinpoint the cause for HIV transmission by testing the given blood sample and dig deeper into the allegations if the lab tests lent credence to the doctors’ claim that the fault was not with blood or disposables. The District Medical & Health Officer was also stocked and was taking necessary measures to reach a conclusion.