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 Table of Contents  
CASE REPORT
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-63

Responsibility of blood bank regarding referral of initial seroreactive blood donors to integrated counseling and testing center: Sensationalism by the media may lead to disaster


Department of Transfusion Medicine, The Mission Hospital, Durgapur, West Bengal, India

Date of Web Publication5-Apr-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suvro Sankha Datta
Department of Transfusion Medicine, The Mission Hospital, Durgapur, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/GJTM.GJTM_11_18

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  Abstract 


A case from a hospital-based private blood bank situated in an urban area of eastern India regarding a horrible media trial after referring a blood donor to integrated counseling and testing center due to seroreactivity as per the National AIDS Control Organization guideline.

Keywords: Integrated counseling and testing center, media-trial, National AIDS Control Organization, referral, seroreactive donor


How to cite this article:
Datta SS. Responsibility of blood bank regarding referral of initial seroreactive blood donors to integrated counseling and testing center: Sensationalism by the media may lead to disaster. Glob J Transfus Med 2018;3:62-3

How to cite this URL:
Datta SS. Responsibility of blood bank regarding referral of initial seroreactive blood donors to integrated counseling and testing center: Sensationalism by the media may lead to disaster. Glob J Transfus Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 May 22];3:62-3. Available from: http://www.gjtmonline.com/text.asp?2018/3/1/62/229324




  Introduction Top


There were multiple articles published in 2017 and 2018 by national print media houses regarding transmission of HIV infection due to blood transfusion in India.[1],[2] In this context, the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTC) along with National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) came with a revised guideline on October 11, 2017, addressing responsibility of blood banks regarding recall and referral mechanism for initial seroreactive blood donors and blood bank testing strategies for HIV and other transfusion-transmitted diseases.[3] All the blood banks in India are currently following the new NBTC/NACO algorithm for blood donors who are being referred to the integrated counseling and testing center (ICTC) due to seroreactivity. Here, I am reporting a case from a hospital-based private blood bank situated in an urban area of eastern India regarding a horrible media trial after referring a blood donor to ICTC due to seroreactivity.


  Case Report Top


A voluntary blood donor who had donated blood in the last week of January 2018 was found to be HIV seroreactive by the enhanced chemiluminescence testing machine (4th generation HIV Combo Kit, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics); repeat sample was taken from blood bag and tested on the same day and again it was found HIV seroreactive. As per the NACO and DGHS guidelines, the donor was informed and asked to come again for a second sample. He came after 7 days; a new blood sample was taken and again it was found HIV seroreactive. After the last result, the donor was properly counseled by the blood bank in-charge in the presence of a blood bank counselor and referred to the ICTC of nearest Medical College with a letter addressing ICTC in-charge for further counseling, confirmation, and management as per NACO guidelines. Unfortunately, the donor did not report to the ICTC, and instead of reporting, he attempted suicide. The local village people saved him and went to a private laboratory which reported that the individual was HIV nonreactive. After that, they went to the media stating that a wrong report had been issued from the blood bank, and due to the wrong information and counseling, the suicide was attempted by the donor. On the same day, multiple print and electronic media houses came to the alleged blood bank and started the media trial by accusing the blood bank in-charge. Although it was informed by the hospital authority that “the test was just a screening test and for confirmation the donor was referred to the ICTC as per Government rule,” the media aired the fabricated news with false allegations on the blood bank.


  Discussion Top


It is a well-known fact that blood bank tests are designed with high sensitivity so as not to miss a weak HIV infection and compromise safety of patients receiving donor blood. Therefore, they may give false-positive results. Hence, blood bank results cannot be assumed to be correct when it comes to testing for the purpose of diagnosis. Here, the unit of blood was destroyed, and the donor was referred to an ICTC for confirmation and further management by the blood bank. If the donor gets depressed and blames the blood bank, instead of seeking further help from ICTC as directed, how can the blood bank be held responsible? When there is apparently no breach of any guidelines, filing wild accusations against the blood bank and showcasing it on television only harms the blood donation movement. Blood banks will be afraid to report results to donors, and that will be detrimental to the country as a whole. The total process of counseling of seroreactive donors can be conducted under video monitoring, but that may give rise to the question of breach of confidentiality of the donor.


  Conclusion Top


During the past few years, it seems that India is at war with its doctors. There is an environment of mistrust between doctors and the general public. In this context, we expect the media in our country considered the fourth pillar of democracy to take added responsibility by contributing evidence-based news in situ ations such as this.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
2.
3.
Guidelines for Blood Donor Selection and Blood Donor Referral. No. S-12016/5/2016-NACO (NBTC). Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; 11 October, 2017.  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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Discussion
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