Days after a pregnant woman contracted HIV via blood transfusion at a government hospital in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, the 19-year-old youth who had donated the blood died after consuming aluminium phosphide paste, a highly toxic pesticide.
“He consumed aluminium phosphide on Wednesday. After he was taken to the hospital, his condition was seemingly normal and was responding to treatments. But he vomited blood on Saturday night and died today morning,” an official said.
According to an inquiry report by the health department, the donor’s blood was first detected to be positive for HIV and Hepatitis B in August 2016, after he donated blood at a camp in Sivakasi.
When his blood was discarded for its infected status, hospital staff who screened the blood did not contact the donor to follow up on his treatment.
On November 30 this year, he donated blood at the Sivakasi government hospital. When the screening of his blood failed to detect the virus this time, it was transfused to the pregnant woman on December 3.
A week later, the donor tested his blood for visa purposes, and realised he had two infections — HIV and Hepatitis B. He himself rushed to the blood bank where he had donated blood to alert them, which led to a detailed probe that revealed that the pregnant woman was infected with both diseases.
An investigation into the medical history of the donor revealed that the youth had displayed a “high risk behaviour” from his early adolescent age. Quoting a confidential report, a top official who was part of the investigation said the donor had had multiple sexual partners and was a narcotics user from the age of 12.
“…His revelations reveal that he was subjected to sexual acts and had had many unsafe sexual encounters with both male and female partners in his adolescent age. Our detailed conversation revealed that he was also subjected to highly dangerous methods of using drugs…,” the official said.
“He was devastated not only (by) his infection but (also after) realising that his blood had infected a pregnant woman too,” the official said.
Amalorpavanathan Joseph, who pioneered Tamil Nadu’s Cadaver organ Transplantation and headed the body for over a decade, said “proper identification and proper counselling and proper medical management would have saved this young boy.