9-year-old is HIV+ after blood transfusion

Image used for representational purpose only

Image used for representational purpose only

The incident of a nine-year-old acquiring transfusion-transmitted HIV infection, while under treatment at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) here, has once again brought to focus the need to promote "repeat and regular voluntary blood donors" to ensure better transfusion safety.

Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS) officials said they were focussing on blood donors during the period and trying to trace if any of them could have been in the window period when they donated blood. Doctors even made us do tests and we tested negative. Transfusion of blood donated during this period might have led to the child getting infected, he added. These people would immediately be summoned and after collecting information from them, will be subjected to blood test.

The probe team is also verifying the medical documents related to the girl's treatment and they are weighing all possibilities to find the suspected donor.

On a complaint by the victim's father, Kerala health minister K K Shylaja directed the constitution of a panel headed by joint director of medical education (DME) Sreekumari to probe the matter.

The minister said the state government would bear all expenses for further treatment of the girl.

The child tested negative for HIV when she was first admitted to the RCC.

Noticing swelling in one of her eyes, doctors at the RCC institute had carried out various tests, including a blood test, which revealed that the girl was HIV positive.

The police have said that they can take any legal action only after finding out what exactly happened, with the help of medical board, and forensic-pathology departments, after examining each stage of her treatment from the beginning.

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR), and Kerala State Human Right Commission have also taken a case regarding this and have started investigation. It also urged the Leftist state government to compensate the girl's family.