Blood Transfusion Leads To HIV, Hepatitis In 14 Children: Report

New Delhi: Over a dozen Thalassemic children undergoing blood transfusion, have tested positive for infections like Hepatitis B, C and even HIV, during their routine screening at Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital (LLRH) in Kanpur.

However, addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the Principal of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College (GSVM) to which LLRH is affiliated, Dr Sanjay Kala refuted the claim made by Dr Arun Arya, head, of the paediatrics department, LLR and nodal officer for this centre saying no such case was reported after 2019.

Dr Arya had claimed that 14 children were found infected with various viruses during the screening. Of the 14, seven tested positive for Hepatitis B, five for Hepatitis C and two for HIV. The children belonged to various districts including Farrukhabad, Auraiya, Etawah, Kannauj, Kanpur City and Kanpur Dehat. He had said that the minors were now faced with a greater risk in addition to the Thalassemia condition that necessitated the transfusions, The New Indian Express reported. The UP deputy CM and state health minister Brajesh Pathak has ordered a high-level probe into the incident.

At present, 180 thalassemia patients receive blood transfusions at the LLRH, which screens each of them every six months for viral diseases, TNIE reported, adding that 14 children, aged between 6 and 16, are among the 180 patients. They tested positive for various infections during a routine test at LLRH, had received blood transfusions at private and district hospitals, and in some cases locally, when they required it urgently.

Meanwhile, GSVM principal, Dr Sanjay Kala not only recommended action against Dr Arun Arya saying he was not authorised to talk to the media and share such information but also claimed that blood transfusion to the infected children was not done at LLRH.

Dr Kala also said that every thalassaemic patient used to undergo a mandatory screening at LLRH. “During the screening, not even a single patient with  HIV or hepatitis infection has been found here since 2019. Two HIV patients—one in 2014 and the other in 2019—were found during the screening. They had got the transfusion done from some other hospital,” Dr Kala was quoted as saying.

He added that two patients of thalassemia had tested positive for Hepatitis B  in 2016, while two patients had tested positive for Hepatitis C  in 2014, two in 2016 and one in 2019. “So far, not a single thalassaemic patient has got infected because of the transfusion done in LLRH,” said Dr Kala.


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