The parents of a two-year-old girl on Tuesday alleged their daughter had contracted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV through a blood transfusion at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, Hindustan Times reported. The hospital’s dean has denied the charges.
The child’s father told reporters in Coimbatore that his daughter was admitted to the hospital in July 2018 for a heart ailment. “When she developed complications, she was again admitted this month and during tests, it was found that she had contracted HIV,” he said. “She was not taken to any other hospital.”
The girl’s father said doctors had stopped the blood transfusion midway when the child was admitted to the hospital in July, according to The New Indian Express. He said doctors told him that the blood had been collected from an “old man” and was wrongly given to his child. “They then discharged her the very next day and forced us to undergo treatment as an outpatient.”
The parents said they noticed lumps on the child’s body and took her back to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on February 6. Test results confirmed the child was HIV positive. The child’s father said the entire family, including the child’s twin brother, had undergone tests. “None of us have HIV except our daughter,” he said. “It is clear that she contracted the virus through blood transfusion.”
The State Health Department has initiated an inquiry and the hospital has submitted a preliminary report.
The hospital’s dean, Ashokan, said the child could have been infected at another hospital. “On receiving the complaint from the girl’s parents, we had gone through the records and found nothing wrong,” Ashokan said.
Ashokan said the child was administered 50 ml of packed red blood cells in July 2018 as she was underweight. “HIV is caused only through plasma and not packed blood cells,” Ashokan claimed, according to News18.
In December, a pregnant woman in Tamil Nadu had contracted HIV and Hepatitis B after undergoing a blood transfusion. She was given blood from the Sivakasi government hospital blood bank, and it later emerged that the blood donor was HIV positive. The donor – a 19-year-old – died in December, days after attempting suicide by consuming rat poison.