A pregnant woman in Bihar was transfused with HIV- infected blood at a district hospital in Biharsharif, Nalanda. The government sacked the laboratory technician who allegedly collected the infected blood from a donor and transfused to the pregnant woman.
Donors Hid The Information
After the news broke out, district civil surgeon Dr Sunil Kumar ordered an inquiry headed by a panel of three doctors led by Nalanda Sadar hospital deputy superintendent.
The health officials were informed that the blood bank had processed the infected blood after a report in a local newspaper, Hindustan Times reported.
They traced the donor and found out that the man and his wife (pregnant) were HIV+ and had not disclosed the information before donating the blood.
Staff Didn't Consult Supervisors
Dr Kumar said that the sacked employee, Santosh Kumar, had possibly skipped the screening test for HIV and went by the donor's self-declaration, who claimed to be in good health.
Reportedly, the anti-retroviral therapy centre staff had known that the man had donated blood when he turned up at their centre for his dose of medicines after the donation'; but they did not inform their supervisors.
Sacked Employee Blames Testing
The sacked employee, Santosh Kumar, said that he had run the sample through five screening tests for HIV, Malaria, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, and C.
However, he said the authorities should have conducted a re-test of the samples and that the rapid screening test and testing kits were to be blamed for the fault.
An official of the state AIDS Control Society told the media that the samples should have also been run through the ELISA reader machine after other tests for confirmation.
The hospital had the machine, but it wasn't functional in the absence of testing kits.
Govt Provided Outdated Kits
"The viral load is not detected in screening in advance cases of HIV/AIDS. But generally, such patients are so weak and thin that one can easily make out by the appearance that they are infected," former blood bank head, Dr Upendra Kumar Sinha told HT.
Sinha blamed the government for purchasing the third-generation rapid screening kits at Biharsharif, which are outdated and had a window period of 30-45 days, instead of the new Chemiluminescent Assay kits, with a window period of less than 5-6 days from the date of being infected.
The woman jabbed with the blood, gave birth on November 5, and has not tested positive for HIV. However, the hospital authorities said they would be undertaking weekly tests on her and the infant.