State in whirlpool of TTIs; Young Orissa stresses on implementation of Minister words to Assembly for safe blood from Blood Banks

YO Press meet

Orissa is in serious debacle due to spread of transmission transferable infections with deadly viruses like HIV/HBV/HCV escaping notice as outdated methods in vogue are not capable of perfect screening of blood in the blood banks, alleged Young Orissa in a Press conference on July 12 at Bhubaneswar.

Secretary of the organization, Debi Prasad Nayak presented various documents in support of his apprehension that the State of Orissa, due to nonchalance of administration, has fallen in a whirlpool of transfusion transmitted infections (TTIs). Three out of 1528 units of blood carry life killing viruses like HIV, HBV, HCV etc as the existing system of blood screening escape detection in blood banks, he said.

“According to ICMR, these viruses escape in 3 average cases of screening in1528 donated units of blood. Orissa is having 3,41,000 units of blood donations per annum in the average. This indicates that at least 669 unsuspecting patients are accepting infected blood transfusion in Orissa per year”, alleged Nayak.

Citing official statistics, he said, “there are 12,000 thalassemia patients in Orissa who thrive on blood transfusion taken at least once or twice every month. They use about 25% of the total blood received through donations. So, at least 167 thalassemia patients are suspected to be receiving blood infected with HIV/HBV/HCV viruses without them knowing of the danger. This is more serious a syndrome when there is possibility of three fold more infections as an unit of blood is now being separated into three component like platelet, plasma and pack-cell under NACO guidelines for better, larger and specific use of the life-saver. This is stark treachery against the unsuspecting patients’ he said.

Narrating how an unsuspecting patient of only 3 years, who for surgery had accepted transfusion of blood obtained from BMC hospital Blood Bank, was found infected with HIV”, he informed that the “Orissa High Court considering his complaint, had directed the State Government to pay him Rs 3 lakhs as compensation with a further directive to adopt NAT method for dependable screening of blood as the Government is basically responsible to supply safe blood to patients”.

This judicial direction was given in W.P.( C ) No.13441 of 2009 disposed of on 28.07.2011. But the State Government, as is its wont, did not pay any heed to the High Court directive.

Worried over the administrative negligence to such a serious hazard, the Opposition Chief Whip Sri Prasad Harichandan moved an adjournment motion on the issue on September 01, 2012. Nayak said, “Honʼble Minister of Health Dr. Damodar Raut, in his reply announced that the Govt. will use NAT method in all Blood Banks in phased manner and will start Nat Screening with immediate effect in the four most major Blood Banks in the three Medical College Hospitals and Capital Hospital. But, we regret to note, the Ministerʼs announcement has gone barren and resultantly AIDS is rising along with other TTIs in Orissa” cried the Young Orissa Secretary while informing that a “recent case of HIV infection located in the capital city is caused by unsafe blood transfusion”.

“We demand immediate implementation of the Ministerʼs announcement in the Assembly on September 01, 2012 by replacing the ELISA screening with NAT PCR Screening in the Blood Banks attached to Capital Hospital and the Hospitals of the three Government Medical Colleges at Berhampur, Cuttack and Burla and adoption of the said method in all the Blood Banks of Orissa without monetary pressure on the patients” , said Sri Nayak.

Young Orissa office bearers, Priya Pritam Mohanty, Pranab Kumar Bal, and Arobinda Mishra were present in the conference along with Nayak.

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