In a new twist to the Regional Cancer Centre case, where a minor girl who was admitted for leukemia contracted HIV last year, some media houses are reporting that one of the donors who gave blood to the then eight-year-old was HIV positive. The information, apparently from a report of the Kerala State Aids Control Society (KACS) that has now been leaked, has come out days after the girl died due to chest congestion.
According to a section of the media, the report of Kerala State Aids Control Society (KACS) says that one of the 48 blood donors to the girl was HIV positive. The report also says that the HIV might not have been detected during the testing because it was the window period – the time between potential exposure to HIV, and the point when the test will give an accurate result – a claim that would vindicate the hospital in medical negligence charges.
The minor girl was diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2017 and was admitted to RCC. In August, the parents were asked to take the child for a blood test at the Medical College Hospital, situated near RCC in Thiruvananthapuram. The result showed that the girl was HIV positive, much to the shock of the parents who tested negative for the same. The child’s mother had approached the High Court in September, seeking a probe into the issue.
Though KACS had launched an inquiry into the issue then, the contents of the report were not made public. On Sunday, a section of the media reported that as per the report, one of the donors was HIV positive and the hospital did not realise it because of the ‘window period.’
The deceased girl’s family, however, says this is a criminal conspiracy to save the hospital.
The girl’s father tells TNM, “The doctors are trying to rescue their colleagues. Saying that the donor might have been in the window period is a classic example of this.”
However, KACS Project Director Ramesh R says there is no such attempt to cover up, and claims there is nothing new in the media reports.
“We never denied that the child had contradicted HIV from RCC. She had received 48 units of blood during the treatment there. After she was tested HIV positive, all the 48 donors were called into the hospital. The HIV virus was not diagnosed may be because it was the window period. But RCC takes all mandatory precautions stipulated by the National Aids Control Society and WHO during blood transfusion,” he says.