1.5K HIV cases last year due to blood transfusion

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Even as comprehensive standards ensuring better quality of blood are formulated, cases of transmission of HIV and other infections through transfusion of infected blood have been reported in the country. According to recent data, 1,504 cases of HIV due to infected blood transfusion have been reported in the last one year.

While no deaths have been reported so far this year due to transfusion of faulty blood, cases resulting in people getting life-threatening diseases due to such callousness are reported every year.
According to government data, 2,315 such cases were reported in 2011-2012, similarly 2,375 cases were reported in 2010-2011 and 2711 cases in 2009-2010.
In all these years, Gujarat reported the maximum number of such cases of transmission of HIV through infected blood transfusion. Significantly, Maharash-tra and Karnataka too report a large number of people getting affected due to infected blood.
And all this happens even as the existing provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Act provide that each unit of blood and blood products is mandatorily tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis and Malaria and only blood units free from these infections are used for transfusion purposes.
Before blood donation, every donor is physically examined and a Donor Deferral Form is filled to ensure that only safe donors donate blood in licensed blood banks in the country.
“Core committees for blood transfusion services exist in the states to supervise the blood banks on a regular basis. Comprehensive standards to ensure better quality control on collection, storage, testing and distribution of blood and its components have been formulated and disseminated. Regular trainings are conducted by states for the blood bank staff to improve observance of quality assurance standard in the blood banks, including quality assurance for HIV testing,” said Union minister of state for health and family welfare Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury in the Rajya Sabha last Wednesday.

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