Screen blood to avoid infections, HC tell Delhi government

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the city government on a PIL seeking direction for it to adopt blood screening methods that eliminate the possibility of infections through blood transfusion.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath also issued notice to city government’s department of health and family welfare and sought their responses by July 10, the next date of hearing.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed by lawyer Jewesh Maneja through advocate R. Jawaharlal, said the government should use Nucleic acid Amplification Test (NAT) screening of donated blood in blood banks in the city by Individual Donor Testing (IDT). The implementation of NAT will be an important step forward in the prevention of transfusion transmission infections, it contended.

“There is a need to ensure safety of blood donated for transfusion in blood banks in Delhi and to eliminate the inherent risks of transmission of infections through infected blood, without adequate testing of donated blood,” the petition said.

It added: “In case the donor has infections like Hepatitis B virus or Hepatitis C virus or Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV), for which no vaccine exists, such infection would be passed on, to the recipient as well, endangering his life and others also.”

“Therefore, unless screening methods, like Individual Donor Testing (IDT) through Nucleic acid Amplification Test (NAT) which eliminate the possibility of infections being undetected are deployed, the possibility of infections being spread through blood transfusion, remains an imminent and life threatening threat,” the petition said.

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