16:56 GMT08 August 2020
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    A day after the High Court took suo-motu cognisance of medical negligence involving HIV infection contracted by a pregnant woman in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the administration has now swung into action in a damage control mode and has taken measures to fix loopholes.

    The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the state health secretary to file a detailed report by January 3 on the incident in which a 24-year-old pregnant woman was transfused with HIV-infected blood at a government hospital in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu state.

    According to agency reports, Tamil Nadu's government had ordered screening of all blood banks in the state for HIV-infected blood.

    READ MORE: Kolkata to Host India’s first Cafe Run by HIV+ Teens

    While the state government has deputed Dr K Senthil Raj, Project Director of Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society to enquire into the medical negligence involved and who then visited the woman at the hospital to further investigate the matter, central government officials have told Sputnik that any standard operating procedure violations will be looked into.

    The administration has transferred the woman to the Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital for specialised treatment and monitoring. The Madurai hospital administration has informed the media that their primary aim was to ensure that the baby does not contract the disease.

    Meanwhile, the 21-year-old donor whose blood was transfused to the pregnant woman is battling for his life at the same hospital after he attempted suicide by consuming poison. The whole matter of the blood transfusion containing the HIV virus administered to the pregnant woman came to light after the donor discovered his positive status during a routine medical examination as part of a visa application process.

    "Upon finding this, he immediately informed the hospital where he had taken part in a blood donation camp. The youth had donated blood during a donation camp conducted at the Sivakasi Government Hospital in 2016", says news agency PTI.

    The pregnant woman was administered the HIV-tainted blood during a transfusion in early December but the doctors at the hospital called her back to the hospital following a call from the donor, the agency adds.

    The doctors in Madurai where the woman is being treated now have expressed hope of saving the child from infection.

    "She has been quarantined and a team of doctors led by a gynecologist is monitoring her health. We are taking every step to ensure that the baby does not contract HIV. The woman will be under the special care of doctors who will monitor her health round-the-clock", S Shanmugasundaram, Dean of Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital told a regional portal The News Minute after the infected woman was shifted to Madurai.


    "We have been successfully in several cases in the past and we are trying to make that happen in this case as well", Shanmugasundaram added.

    READ MORE: Half-Hearted Government Support Puts Millions at Risk for HIV in India

    The National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) of India has signalled the possibility of its intervention after the court rap.

    "The case is a violation of the guidelines set by NACO in 2017 which are supposed to be implemented by all governments in blood transfusion and blood handling. We may look into the possibility of enquiring into the violations but not now as we not in the picture. The focus now is more into saving the child and the mother. The trauma faced by the donor is also a matter of concern", a senior official of NACO told Sputnik on condition of anonymity.


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    HIV/AIDs, negligence, infection, medical care, India, Tamil Nadu
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