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Tamil Nadu govt assures action against officials for giving HIV blood to woman

Tamil Nadu government Saturday assured action against senior officials in connection with the recent transfusion of HIV infected blood to a pregnant woman at a state-run hospital once the ongoing inquiry was completed. Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, replying to a calling attention motion on the issue in the state assembly, said three lab technicians had already been terminated for the lapse at the blood bank that led to a transfusion of the blood donated by a 19-year old man last month.

Raising the matter, Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin (DMK) and his party colleague KKSSR Ramachandran demanded action against those at the higher echelon of the administrative pyramid. Vijayabaskar, who described the incident as shocking, said a panel led by the Additional Director of Medical Services was looking into the issue to pinpoint where the lapse occurred in certifying the blood safe and assured appropriate action after the inquiry. The 24-year old woman contracted HIV after the blood transfusion at a government hospital at Sattur in Virudhunagar district in the first week of December for treatment of haemoglobin deficiency. The incident has drawn widespread condemnation with opposition parties demanding the dismissal of the health minister and transfer of the state health secretary.

The man, who attempted suicide after learning about the transfusion, died at a hospital on Sunday. Defending the blood screening process, Vijayabaskar said it was as per the National Aids Control Organisation guidelines and the government has also decided to go in for ID NAT (Individual Nucleic Acid Testing) technique for early detection of HIV.

He said land allotment had already been made for the woman and the government was in touch with her family to ensure all required help was given... Ramachandran said the episode has altered the life of an innocent woman and wanted a job opportunity to her husband, and proper health care assistance to her and the foetus. He also wanted some relief to be given to the family of the donor as the man was unaware of his HIV positive status when he donated blood and once he learnt about it he alerted the blood bank personnel.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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