Complainant's daughter contracted HIV through transfusion of infected blood

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed a blood bank to pay compensation of Rs.3 lakh and costs of Rs.5,000 to the father of a girl who contracted HIV through transfusion of infected blood collected by it.

Partly allowing a complaint filed by the girl's father, G. Krishnamoorthy, the Commission Bench, comprising J. Jayaram, Presiding Judicial Member, and Vasugi Ramanan, Member, said that after considering the records and arguments by the parties, it had come to the conclusion that the girl turned HIV positive only because of the transfusion of infected blood collected by Sree Aurobindo Blood Bank and Blood Component Research Centre, Kilpauk, “which was responsible for supplying the infected blood not tested properly”.

In his complaint, Mr. Krishnamoorthy stated that on November 18, 2004 his 12-year-old daughter was admitted to a hospital at Mylapore for dengue fever. She underwent several medical tests and ultimately, the physician advised blood transfusion.

Six units of ‘A' positive blood were procured from Sree Aurobindo Blood Bank, run by the Sri Aurobindo Public Charitable Trust, and transfused to the girl in November 2004. She was later discharged. The girl was again admitted to the same hospital for treatment of leptospirosis on December 7, 2004.In February 2008, the girl was again taken to the hospital for the treatment of tonsillitis. The doctors prescribed certain medicines and sent her back. The problem turned severe and she was admitted to the hospital on May 8, 2008.

Surgery was suggested and, before the procedure, western blot test was done. It revealed that the girl was HIV positive and she was transferred to the Kilpauk Medical College for treatment. Her father and his family members also underwent the HIV test and the report disclosed they were not infected.

Mr. Krishnamoorthy preferred a complaint, seeking compensation from the hospital and the blood bank.

The Commission, which found that there was no negligence or deficiency in service on the part of the hospital, however said that there was no force in the contention of the blood bank.