The Tamil Nadu Health department on Thursday ordered screening of dozens of blood units in stock at four blood banks in Virudhunagar district after an HIV-positive donor donated his blood without knowing about the infection on November 30.
After the blood screening test failed to detect the virus at Sivakasi government hospital, the blood was transfused to a 23-year-old pregnant woman, who contracted the virus in December.
A probe is trying to determine if the accident occurred due to a human error or a technical glitch.
With her probable delivery date scheduled for January 30, it was her low haemoglobin level that led the doctor to prescribe the blood transfusion. Anaemia warrants blood transfusion in certain cases.
District joint Director of health services, R Manohar, said they have ordered a stop to receiving blood at Sivakasi Hospital and 53 blood units are being screened. The government has also given a three-day deadline to screen all four blood banks in Virudhunagar district for having received blood from the Sivakasi Hospital’s laboratory.
Responding to the demand by state Opposition leader M K Stalin to screen all blood units in the state, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that screening on such a scale may not be required in the present scenario. “A four-member committee, comprising top officials, has been deputed to personally inspect blood banks and laboratories in question and submit a report in four days,” Radhakrishnan said.
The Madras High Court took suo motu cognisance of the incident and directed the state government to file an action taken and status report by January 3.—With PTI inputs