TN: 15 Pregnant Women Die In Four Months Due To “Bad” Blood Transfusions
The Logical Indian Crew Tamil Nadu
March 29th, 2019 / 3:45 PM
Image Credit: puthiyathalaimurai
Three government hospitals in Tamil Nadu saw at least 15 pregnant women dying in four months until January 2019 due to the side effects of “lysed” blood transfusion. A preliminary enquiry has revealed that even though blood stored in inappropriate temperature had turned stale, some of the doctors certified them safe.
Senior doctors and officials conducted maternal audits and inspected blood banks in government hospitals in Dharmapuri, Hosur and Krishnagiri, and found that transfusing such “spoiled” blood is what led to the death of these women, reported The Times of India.
Minutes after these women were transfused blood, many of them started facing severe complications, like fits. In some cases, the blood volume was lower than 50ml.
Criminal action and disciplinary proceedings ordered
Criminal action and disciplinary proceedings have been ordered by State health secretary Beela Rajesh against Dr M Chandrasekar, working with of the Government Medical College and hospital, Dr Narayanaswamy, working with Krishnagiri District Headquarters Hospital, Dr Sugantha of the Hosur Government Hospital, and several lab technicians and staff nurses.
The director of medical education, Dr A Edwin Joe, and the director of medical services, Dr N Rukmani have been asked by the health secretary in a letter to initiate disciplinary action and file criminal complaints as per Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules for Negligence. If the doctors and paramedics were appointed on contract and outsourced, they could be terminated from service. The department has also been asked to file a complaint with the Tamil Nadu State Medical Council against the medical practitioners, and submit an action-taken report. The respective councils will also receive complaints against lab technicians and nurses.
All possible reasons for death were ruled out by the maternal death audit, before concluding it was due to lysed blood.
“During blood bank inspections, even non-medical professionals could see the difference between good blood and lysed blood. Yet, the blood bank managers chose to keep them in the blood bank. What’s more, the doctors certified them safe,” said a senior department official.
Around the same time as these deaths occurred, a Sattur-based woman was given infected blood and was tested positive for HIV. The blood had been certified safe by the blood bank manager.
In this case, Tamil Nadu AIDS Control Society project director K Senthil Raj had recommended legal and disciplinary action. He also heads the State Blood Transfusion Council. Causes of all maternal deaths and frequent increase in blood transfusion reactions at these centres were investigated by him.
The Logical Indian take
In December 2018, blood from an HIV positive donor was transferred to a 23-year-old pregnant woman in a government hospital in Sattur, Tamil Nadu. The event came to light after the mother tested HIV positive, following which the 19-year-old donor, who was unaware of his condition when he donated blood, attempted suicide in guilt.
Negligence on the part of hospital authorities is no less than a crime. People will be left with no hope if they end up dying at a place where they go to, to get back a healthier life. The carelessness of these people resulted in the death of not only 15 women but also 15 unborn, innocent lives.
Written by : Sumanti Sen
Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi