Guide Blood, Blood Products — and AIDS —

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  1. Every year 2, people are transfused with HIV-infected blood
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Every year 2, people are transfused with HIV-infected blood

Type Accommodation and the title of the report in the subject line of e-mail. Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus HIV through transfusion of contaminated blood components was documented in the United States in 1. Since then, the risk for transfusion-transmitted HIV infection has been almost eliminated by the use of questionnaires to exclude donors at higher risk for HIV infection and the use of highly sensitive laboratory screening tests to identify infected blood donations. The risk for acquiring HIV infection through blood transfusion today is estimated conservatively to be one in 1.

This report describes the first U. A blood center in Missouri discovered that blood components from a donation in November tested positive for HIV infection. A lookback investigation determined that this donor had last donated in June , at which time he incorrectly reported no HIV risk factors and his donation tested negative for the presence of HIV.

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One of the two recipients of blood components from this donation, a patient undergoing kidney transplantation, was found to be HIV infected, and an investigation determined that the patient's infection was acquired from the donor's blood products. Even though such transmissions are rare, health-care providers should consider the possibility of transfusion-transmitted HIV in HIV-infected transfusion recipients with no other risk factors. He was a repeat blood donor who reported no HIV risk factors on the routine eligibility screening questionnaire.

He was not compensated for his blood donation. Components from this donation later were transfused into two recipients. No specimens from this donation were stored. In November , the man donated blood again at the same blood center and again reported no risk factors on the routine eligibility screening questionnaire. The man was placed on the list of donors who are indefinitely ineligible for future donation, all products from this donation were destroyed, and the man was notified by the blood center of his probable HIV infection.

Because of the rare possibility that the donor might have been infected shortly before his June donation and donated blood that contained HIV at a concentration too low to be detected, an investigation was initiated to determine whether recipients of the June donation had been infected with HIV, consistent with regulatory requirements to investigate such events. During his interview, the donor reported he was married but had sex with both men and women outside of his marriage, including just before his June donation.

He indicated that the sex often was anonymous and occurred while he was intoxicated.

The investigation initiated by the blood center identified two recipients of blood components packed red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma derived from the donor's June donation. In July , one unit of packed red blood cells from the donor was transfused into a patient in Arkansas during cardiac surgery. This patient died 2 days later from cardiac disease; no premortem or postmortem material was available for testing, and it was unknown whether the patient had been infected with HIV. In August , one unit of fresh frozen plasma from the donor was transfused into a patient receiving a kidney transplant in Colorado.

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The patient had been receiving regular hemodialysis for management of kidney failure since July From that date to the date of kidney transplantation, the patient reported no behavioral or health-care--related risk factors for HIV infection and did not received blood components. At this time, the recipient was placed on antiretroviral therapy. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

Health Every year 2, people are transfused with HIV-infected blood While there are stringent laws to regulate blood banks, such incidents are still happening By Kundan Pandey Last Updated: Wednesday 26 December Credit: Getty Images. Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :. Donate Now.

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Related Stories Drugs advisory board says no to direct blood transfusion. People cancelled operations and crowded into test centres after the government offered free HIV tests to anyone who had received a transfusion in the previous 10 years. The health minister threatened to disband the agency responsible for monitoring blood safety. The three confirmed infections were eventually traced to two infected donors and a plasma company that had not tested every donation separately, as required by law.

That firm, and another that also skimped on HIV tests, were shut down. When people receive blood, they run the risk of contracting a variety of infections. Across the European Union, which is supposed to have a single market in blood products, that risk varies depending on the product and the country.

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In December, EU health ministers agreed to review their different systems as a prelude to agreeing common standards and guidelines. This may be a tough political task, but technology is opening new options for them to improve safety.

Blood is rarely transfused whole. Usually it is broken up into its constituent parts.

Negligence and fraud causes spreading of AIDS due to blood transfusion

Cellular components such as platelets and red and white blood cells are separated and resuspended in a solution. Plasma, the clear, protein-rich fluid left when the cells are removed, can be frozen and used whole — to treat clotting deficiencies, for example — or processed to yield individual proteins such as factor 8, which is given to haemophiliacs. The biggest threat to health in blood stems from viruses, and donated blood is usually screened for HIV and hepatitis A, B, and C.

In Europe, other viruses are considered too rare to be worth the cost of routine screening. As a second line of defence, products that do not contain cells are usually treated with heat or a mixture of solvents and detergents, to inactivate any virus that evades screening. But these safeguards are not infallible. The main screening test for HIV detects antibodies to the virus. But it can take up to a year before an infected person starts to make antibodies.


The same is true for the hepatitis viruses. Other failures during screening are caused by human error.

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Jean-Baptiste Brunet, head of the European Centre for the Epidemiological Monitoring of AIDS, in Paris, reckons that half the cases of hepatitis transmitted by screened products in Europe are due to undetected infections in the window phase, and half to human error. As well as errors in screening, problems also arise with the inactivation process.

Immunoglobulins injected into muscle to protect against hepatitis A have caused no known infections. But the same molecules isolated in a different way and given intra-venously for other conditions have transmitted hepatitis C at least forty times. Intramuscular immunoglobulins have been given to millions of travellers to the tropics. If not for the accident that the process used to isolate the proteins happens to kill viruses, many of these people would have contracted HIV before screening for the virus was introduced in