Weeks after the news of a pregnant woman in Tamil Nadu being negligently transfused with HIV positive blood sent shockwaves across the state, the woman gave birth to a girl child on Thursday. According to a report in the Times of India, the woman went into labour and gave birth to the baby at around 7 pm at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai.
Conveying the news to the media, Dr S Shanmughasundaram, Dean of the institution said that the baby weighed 1.75 kg and was doing well. While no birth defects were immediately observed, a HIV screening would be conducted in 45 days' time to ascertain whether the child has contracted the infection.
He added that the mother was also doing well.
Speaking to TNM earlier, doctors had said that there were two instances where the baby could contract the virus; as a foetus in the womb or during delivery. Since the child passes through the birth canal and is exposed to the mother’s blood and secretions, all of which contain the virus, there is a very high chance the child could be infected. To avoid this, doctors had recommended that a C-section delivery be done to reduce contact with the same fluids.
“After delivery, the child has to be given preventive care as well. For 6 weeks, that is 42 days, a combination of medications must be given,” Dr Amrose Pradeep, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at YR Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education (YRGCare Hospital) in Chennai had said.
On December 3, a 23-year-old pregnant woman in Sattur, Virudhunagar was negligently transfused with the blood of a 19-year-old HIV positive man. The responsible gesture of the man informing the blood bank where he donated, led to the ultimate discovery that his blood had already been transfused to the woman. The case sent shockwaves across Tamil Nadu, with the Health Department ordering a test of all blood samples in the state, across government and private hospitals.
According to the woman’s husband, however, the government hospital authorities initially attempted to hide the fact that the HIV-positive blood had been transfused to his wife.
The Tamil Nadu Health Department had terminated three staff members of the hospital, including the lab technician. The state government also formed an expert committee under the leadership of Dr Sindha, Senior Blood Bank Officer at the Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital, to probe into the matter.