14 children in UP infected with HIV, hepatitis during blood transfusion; Medical College Principal refutes Noda Yoshihiko’s claims – The New Indian Express

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LUCKNOW: More than a dozen thalassemia children undergoing blood transfusions have tested positive for infections like hepatitis B, hepatitis C and even HIV during routine screening at Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital (LLRH) in Kanpur.

However, Dr Sanjay Kala, principal of LLRH-affiliated Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College (GSVM), refuted the claim, saying no such cases were reported after 2019.

Dr Kala was speaking at a press conference on the issue on Wednesday and refuted claims made by Dr Arun Arya, director of paediatrics, LLR and nodal officer at the centre, on Tuesday.

Dr. Arya claims During the screening, 14 children were found to be infected with multiple viruses. Of the 14, seven tested positive for hepatitis B, five for hepatitis C and two for HIV. The children come from various districts including Farrukhabad, Auraiya, Etawah, Kannauj, Kanpur city and Kanpur Dehat.
He has said that in addition to thalassemia, which requires blood transfusions, these minors are now at greater risk.

Meanwhile, after the incident came to light, Uttar Pradesh deputy minister and state health minister Brajesh Pathak ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. Currently, 180 thalassemia patients receive blood transfusions at LLRH, where every patient is screened for viral diseases every six months.

According to sources, 14 of the 180 patients are children between the ages of 6 and 16. They tested positive for various infections during routine check-ups at LLRH and received blood transfusions at private and district hospitals and sometimes locally when needed urgently.

On the other hand, GSVM chief Dr Sanjay Kala not only suggested action against Dr Arun Arya, saying he had no right to talk to the media and share such information, but also alleged that LLRH was not conducting blood transfusions for infected children.

Dr. Kara also said that every thalassemia patient used to undergo mandatory screening at LLRH. “During the screening process, not even one HIV or hepatitis infected patient was detected here since 2019. Two HIV patients were detected during the screening, one in 2014 and the other in 2019 .” They got blood transfusions from other hospitals,” Dr. Kara said.

He added that two patients with thalassemia tested positive for hepatitis B in 2016, two patients with thalassemia tested positive for hepatitis C in 2014, two in 2016 and one patient with thalassemia in 2019. Hepatitis C positive. transfusions performed in the LLRH,” said Dr. Kara.

Earlier, LLRH officials said the incident may have occurred because the donated blood was not properly tested for the virus. In fact, donated blood must undergo a series of viral tests to ensure that the transfusion is safe. The source of infection itself can be difficult to determine.

Dr. Arya said those children who tested positive for hepatitis were referred to the gastroenterology department, while HIV patients were referred to the referral center in Kanpur.

He added that transfusions may be given during the window period. He said that there is a period of time when the blood of an infected person does not reflect the presence of the virus in pathological examination. This is the so-called “window period.”

“Doctors should also vaccinate children against hepatitis B at the time of blood transfusion,” he added. However, officials of the Uttar Pradesh State Health Mission and district-level officials will trace the source of the infection as per the viral hepatitis control plan. The team will look for sites of hepatitis and HIV infection.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge launched a scathing attack on the Northern Alliance government amid controversy surrounding the incident. The political climate is intensifying.

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