Peru's blood banks under scrutiny following HIV scare

Health authorities on Thursday placed Peru's 240 blood banks under close scrutiny after four patients in less than six months were infected with HIV after receiving blood transfusions at public hospitals.

Peru's blood banks under scrutiny following HIV scare
Health authorities on Thursday placed Peru's 240 blood banks under close scrutiny after four patients in less than six months were infected with HIV after receiving blood transfusions at public hospitals.

'All the blood banks in Peru will undergo a more exhaustive evaluation than the one we have been carrying out since the start of the year, which allowed us to close 30 centers,' said Health Minister Carlos Vallejos.

Health authorities came in for a firestorm of criticism after media reported that Judith Rivera, 44, was given a bureaucratic run-around for months after she received a transfusion of HIV-tainted blood.

Once her case became public, health authorities announced that there were at least three other HIV-infected patients, one of them an 11-month old infant.

The scare unleashed widespread panic. Vallejos had to issue a special appeal to the public to trust the country's public health services.

Adding to the health scare, officials recently announced that 30 patients who went to a social security dialysis center were infected with hepatitis C.

The HIV and hepatitis C scare are black marks on Peru's public health services, already overwhelmed by the powerful August 15 earthquake that killed 519 and left some 200,000 people homeless.

AFP
Last Mod: 14 Eylül 2007, 12:22
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