GSVM Med College denies allegations of contaminated blood transfusions
The press conference, which was postponed twice during the day, saw Dr Arya in attendance with other senior doctors, although he was not allowed to speak.
KANPUR A day after it was reported that 14 thalassemia patients had contracted Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV due to the transfusion of contaminated blood, the GSVM Medical College on Wednesday issued a clarification refuting any such blood transfusions. Earlier, Dr Arun Arya, the head of the paediatrics department at the medical college, had brought the cases of alleged contaminated blood transfusions to light.
In a press conference held on Wednesday, the medical college vehemently rejected Dr Arya’s assertions about infections detected during in-house screening. Dr Sanjay Kala, the principal of GSVM Medical College, refuted any allegations of medical negligence, stating that the nine cases of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV were traced over the past nine years. Furthermore, he asserted that not a single patient had been infected in the last four years through blood transfusions at the medical college and its affiliated hospitals.
When queried about how the medical college possessed data dating back to 2014, even though the thalassemia centre only officially commenced operations in 2018, Dr Kala maintained that he would adhere to the written statement without deviation.
Addressing Dr Arya’s claims, the principal stated, “I would like to clarify that all thalassemia patients who come to our centre are thoroughly screened, and I firmly reiterate that no thalassemia patient has been found infected since 2019.”
Additionally, Dr Kala revealed that, as the head of the institution, he has recommended disciplinary action against Dr Arya. He also mentioned that deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak has sought clarification from the medical college on this matter.
Dr Kala provided a breakdown of the infections, stating that HIV infections were detected in thalassemia patients in 2014 and 2019. In 2014, two cases of Hepatitis C and two cases of Hepatitis B were reported. In 2016, two more cases of Hepatitis C emerged, and one case of Hepatitis B was identified in 2019. Importantly, these blood transfusions occurred elsewhere, not at the medical college, he added.
“Infections due to blood transfusion account for less than 1% in HIV cases and 2.5% in Hepatitis cases, well below the global standard of approximately 20%,” Dr Kala emphasised. He also highlighted the advanced technologies employed by the blood bank, such as Eliza and NAT, to promptly detect impurities in the blood.
The press conference, which was postponed twice during the day, saw Dr Arya in attendance with other senior doctors, although he was not allowed to speak. Dr Arya had earlier, on record, disclosed that the recent screening of patients at the Thalassemia centre had identified 14 patients who had allegedly contracted Hepatitis and HIV due to blood transfusions at private hospitals and government hospitals in districts other than Kanpur. Among these, seven patients were reportedly infected with Hepatitis B, five with Hepatitis C, and two with HIV.