Note: This story is from INDIA. I have included it here because people travel overseas for pleasure travel and may have a medical emergency or travel to have surgical operations because of the cost of medical care in their home country. It’s important to know that not every country effectively screens their blood supply for blood-borne pathogens as this editorial piece points out. Alan
Although blood transfusions are considered life-saving, unsafe blood transfusions can at times be life-threatening. The latest National Aids Control Organisation (NACO)released report in response to an RTI request reveal that 14,474 cases of HIV has been caused due to unsafe blood transfusion alone in India over the last seven years. Not just this, but observations from the report also reveals that there has been a 10% rise in the number of HIV cases through blood transfusion over the last one year from 1,424 in 2014-15 to 1,559 in 2015-16. This shocking data brings to light the bitter truth that screened and tested blood available in blood banks might not always be safe after all.
These are the number of cases which have been reported. There are many more cases which don’t even come to light. Apart from HIV, other dilapidating diseases such as Hepatitis B and C can also pass through blood from an infected donor to a recipient. The news about the spread of infections through blood transfusions increasing by the day needs immediate attention.