Capital’s hospitals pass the buck on HIV positive kids



MNAs point out contaminated blood resulting spread of AIDS, other hazardous diseases


CDA Hospital Executive Director Fiaz Lodhi on Friday denied allegations levelled against him, and said that the HIV tests of two kids – eight-year-old Kairal Nadeem and seven-year-old Nahima Nadeem – were found positive in November 2016.

In a press briefing, he said that donors to both the patients were tested and found HIV negative according to the record. “We have mobile numbers and address of both the donors,” he said. He said that the patients also received blood transfusions from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), the Shifa International Hospital, the CDA Hospital, the Polyclinic Hospital, the Red Crescent Hospital and the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC).

The CDA Hospital said that red blood cells (RBCs) were transfused to Kairal Nadeem in Capital hospital for 27 times during March 17, 2015, to January 18, 2017. Similarly, Nahima was also transfused with RBCs 19 times during a period from June 03, 2015, to November 7, 2016. “Since their birth, both the patients have been suffering from Thalassaemia, where every patient needs blood transfusion 35-40 times a year,” Lodhi said.

“We follow international standards regarding blood screening process with the help of the latest machines. Presently, they are admitted in the hospital due to uncontrollable fever and motions,” he said. He also said that the hospital also tested their parents and found them HIV negative. “It cannot be said that the patients were affected because of transfusion of HIV-positive blood but it is yet to be probed into,” he added.

From 1994 to 2017, “we got only two donors with the HIV positive. After highlighting the matter on media, a CDA Administration member also formed a committee comprising Paediatrician Consultant Ghazala Mumtaz, Pulmonologist Imtiaz Ahmed Piracha, and Associate Neonatologist Muzammil Kausar. The committee concluded that the CDA Hospital’s negligence was not the case. “We are all cleared in that matter as we have all the records of blood donors and blood transfusions,” they said.

The blood tests for PCR to find out the viral load were sent on February 01 and results will be received within two weeks. Nadeem Tariq Masih, father of the two kids, informed the Pakistan Today that he cannot confirm where his children received infected blood from but surely it was the ‘negligence’ of the hospital where proper blood screening was not done.

He said that HIV virus was diagnosed in children in November while they were admitted in the CDA Hospital just now. According to him, his children are suffering from the Glanzmann Thrombasthenia, a form of Thalassemia in which the patient suffers from the disorder of both white and red blood cells and platelets. According to the doctors, both the children had been receiving blood transfusions for the last nine years and mostly they had received treatment from PIMS but it could not be confirmed if they had received the infection from the PIMS.

PIMS Blood Bank head Prof Dr Hassan Abbas said that the blood bank has a very modern and advanced blood screening system and all blood donations were screened on this system. Every day around 150-200 patients receive blood components from PIMS blood bank while these two patients suffer from congenital platelet disorder due to which they received hundreds of transfusions in routine and emergency for the last few years.

It is pertinent to mention here that after two siblings were found to have contracted HIV in the federal capital, six members of the National Assembly submitted a notice to the House on January 31, 2017. The lawmakers invited the attention of Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry towards unscreened, contaminated and HIV/Aids infected blood in the capital city, resulting in the spread of AIDS and other hazardous diseases.