Tuesday, November 13, 2007

4 transplant recipients infected with HIV in US

Just as we were talking about the blood/transfusion supply not being 100% safe from HIV earlier in the quarter, here we see the tragic consequences of the remaining tiny level of risk. In January 4 people received donations from a donor that turned out to be HIV+ despite the tests run before donation. It's likely that the donor had been infected recently and had not yet developed a high enough viral load to be detected by the current tests used. The patients themselves only learned of the problems in early November. I had been very comfortable with the thought of leaving such a small level of risk of HIV in the blood supply before this happened, because of the enormous amount of funding it would require to eliminate that risk, which could be better spent in other ways. But this example shows that maybe this level of risk is not ok. Perhaps we need to take steps to further secure our blood supply despite the high costs.


here's the USA Today link:

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