Tamil Nadu

HIV+ youth whose blood was given to pregnant woman dies

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Doctors say cause of death was due to blood loss

A 19-year-old donor, whose HIV-infected blood was transfused to a pregnant woman from Virudhunagar district, died at the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) here on Sunday.

He was admitted on Wednesday after he tried to end his life by consuming poison in his native Tiruchiluvaipuram in Ramanathapuram district. S. Shanmugasundaram, dean (in-charge), GRH, said that the cause of death was blood loss — a common complication of consumption of rat poison. “He vomited blood early on Sunday, following which we administered one unit of blood and three units of fresh frozen plasma. Despite our best efforts, we could not save him,” he said.

The youth, who was staying at his relative’s place in Sivakasi and working at a cracker unit there, donated blood at the government hospital in Sivakasi on November 30, 2018, as a replacement donor.

The staff at the hospital’s blood bank failed to identify the HIV and Hepatitis B infections in his blood. Meanwhile, the donor had a blood test at a private lab as part of an overseas job application, after which he came to know about his condition.

He then informed the hospital in Sivakasi on December 10, 2018. The incident came to light when a pregnant woman, who was administered his blood at the Sattur Government Hospital, claimed she had tested positive for HIV. She subsequently tested positive for Hepatitis B as well. She was given blood for treating anaemia.

The youth had already donated blood at the government hospital in Sivakasi in 2016 and was found to be HIV-positive. But neither was he informed nor was any follow-up action taken.

So far, the Health and Family Welfare Department has terminated the services of three employees of the Sivakasi hospital for negligence.

A five-member committee is probing the incident.

The pregnant woman who received the infected blood is undergoing anti-retroviral therapy at the GRH.

Family protests

Raising suspicions over his death, the donor’s family refused to allow a post-mortem on his body on Sunday.

“Till last night, he was talking properly to us. He was administered an injection late at night, following which he developed complications,” one of his relatives said. Demanding the involvement of doctors from other hospitals in the post-mortem, the family asked for video recording of the procedure.

(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.)

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 3:57:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hiv-youth-whose-blood-was-given-to-pregnant-woman-dies/article25867768.ece

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