HIV-infected blood given in transfusions by the Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) has killed two individuals and left a woman HIV-positive in İstanbul, the Habertürk daily reported on Thursday.
The scandal came to light after the death of 52-year-old Mehmet Emin Bilgin, who was suffering from kidney failure. On April 12, 2011, Bilgin underwent kidney transplant surgery during which he was transfused with blood provided by Kızılay to a private hospital in İstanbul.
The patient's health deteriorated a short time after the surgery. He was diagnosed with HIV on Aug. 2 and died on Aug. 29. Bilgin's family filed a lawsuit at the Kadıköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against Kızılay for providing untested blood to the hospital after the blood used in the transfusion tested positive for HIV.
Ministry of Health inspectors established a list of seven donors suspected of donating the HIV-infected blood to Kızılay. The Kadıköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office demanded that those donors provide further blood samples for confirmation.
However, the Kadıköy 2nd Criminal Court overruled the judgment, saying under Article 76 of the Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK), only criminals are required to give blood samples and the donors had not yet been convicted.
Written statements from three doctors and the former chief physician of the private hospital where Bilgin had the operation were included in Bilgin's court file. The doctors said in a written statement that they are not responsible for testing the blood a second time after it has been delivered to the hospital by Kızılay. The chief physician was discharged from his position following the incident.
The Bilgin family's attorney, Sema Kılıç, said she still does not know who donated the HIV-infected blood and they are waiting for the Ministry of Health's report on the incident.
Another man who contracted HIV from a contaminated blood transfusion died at the age of 58 in January at a private hospital in İstanbul.
The man, whose identity has not been revealed upon his family's request, was transfused with blood given to the hospital by Kızılay during a bypass operation in March 2011. He tested positive for HIV in July 2011 and died last month.
The family has filed a criminal complaint with the Ümraniye Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, accusing Kızılay of providing untested blood to the hospital.
In a related incident, a 24-year-old woman contracted HIV in March 2011 from another blood transfusion during a premature birth in İstanbul. The blood was again provided by Kızılay. The woman not only lost her baby but was also informed by the hospital that she was HIV positive.
CihanGüncelleme Tarihi: 09 Şubat 2012, 17:28