Experts are calling on stricter regulations in the clinical use of blood transfusions after a five-year-old girl was recently confirmed to have been infected with HIV when she received a transfusion as a baby.
The young girl, identified as Mao Mao, was found to be carrying the HIV virus during a physical exam last September in a Fujian hospital.
Mao Mao has congenital heart disease and received a blood transfusion during a heart operation at the Fujian Union Medical College Hospital in May, 2010, when she was only eight months old, Sina News reports.
She was sent to the hospital in September after she’d been experiencing a fever for 17 days straight. The local health authority in Fujian province announced over the weekend she’d been infected back in 2010 by a donor who’d recently been infected, and tests hadn’t detected the virus during its “window period”.
Sina News reports that the hospital has denied responsibility for the infection, and cited a mediator in the doctor-patient relationship center as saying that the blood test samples had met national standards.
The HIV-carrier reportedly volunteered to donate blood on March 31, 2010, and the test result was qualified. This person was recently re-tested and diagnosed with HIV after the virus had been detected in Mao Mao.
In a China Daily report, an HIV/AIDS specialist revealed that each year around 10 people in China suffer similar cases due to limitations in screening technology. Currently, most blood centers use the antibody test for screening, and carriers of HIV test positive after 22 days of initial infection. Starting this year, an RNA-based test will be gradually phased in. The test could shorten the window period from 22 days to 11 days, but false positives are also common.
The Fujian blood center and hospital are now required to offer aid to the girl’s family.
Watch the news report here.
Previously on Shanghaiist: 200 residents sign petition to expel HIV-infected boy from Sichuan village
By Lucy Liu
[Via Sina News]