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Blood racket: Contaminated blood could have caused Hepatitis
Published on 30 Aug. 2009 11:18 PM IST
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More than a week after police busted a massive racket in adulterated blood in Uttar Pradesh, another report on the quality of blood seized reveals that it was infected with the highly contagious Hepatitis B and C virus - painting an alarming picture of the possibility of patients having contracted it. The Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), in another report to the government Friday, said the Hepatitis virus strains were found in the adulterated blood. The report was also submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an FDA source said Sunday. A detailed examination of the blood, seized by the authorities from a private nursing home run illegally by a government doctor had revealed that very poor quality blood with extremely low levels of haemoglobin was being supplied to patients in different hospitals. Over a period of two years, 100,000 units of the contaminated blood were sold. Uttar Pradesh Police arrested six people, including an anaesthetist from the state-run Balrampur Hospital, in connection with the racket on Aug 22. The racket was allegedly being run with the connivance of several well-known private blood banks and doctors. “We have received the report but the details cannot be revealed now because it will be presented in the court as evidence against the accused on Monday,” FDA commissioner Lalit Verma told IANS. The blood seized by the police with fake labels of the state’s largest blood bank at King George’s Medical College (KGMC) were sent for detailed examination to the SGPGIMS. Earlier, a report by the SGPGIMS revealed that saline water was being mixed with the blood to increase its quantity, which led to further dilution of the already low haemoglobin level in the blood. Lucknow Superintendent of Police (City) Paresh Pandey, who busted the racket, had initially said he suspected animal blood was being mixed with human blood. Later, it was found that the blood was being diluted with saline water. Last week a joint team of the FDA and police raided a number of private hospitals and blood banks across the city and a show cause notice was served to three blood banks. “Charak Pathology, Indira Diagnostic Centre and Kohli Blood Bank were found functioning without proper facilities of blood extraction and storage. They were also not having proper certificates,” an FDA official said. The gang used to buy blood from professional donors like drug addicts, rickshaw pullers and beggars and would mix it with saline water to make three units from one unit of blood, police said. This was sold at Rs.1,000-1,500 per unit.

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