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MENAFN - Arab News - 17/02/2013

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A general view of the King Fahd Central Hospital in Jazan where the 12-year-old girl who received an HIV-contaminated blood transfusion in another hospital was taken for treatment.
(MENAFN - Arab News) The Ministry of Health has responded to calls from the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) that the 12-year-old girl who received an HIV-contaminated blood transfusion in Jazan be sent to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh to receive better health care.

In a phone interview with Arab News, the general supervisor of NSHR in Jizan said that receiving the best treatment possible is one of the girl's most basic rights. The next step, he added, is to continue and intensify the investigation into the incident as it is still an open case. He also said that he is in contact with all the parties involved in the incident in order to make sure that the perpetrators get what they deserve, and so that no such mistakes would be repeated.

The mother of the girl has not elaborated much on what she earlier told a local paper, but she told Arab News that she would never sign a waiver regarding her daughter's rights. She added that until now she still could not believe what happened. Her current concerns, she said, are her daughter's improvement.

Dr. Khaled Mirghalani said the donor of the tainted blood is a Saudi citizen. Authorities are investigating how the contaminated blood was taken from him, and why the initial sample was not tested. He stressed that the investigation has yielded nothing so far.

The twelve-year-old sixth-grader at the Qur'an School was discharged from the King Fahd Central Hospital and her parents were told to bring her back in a month for a checkup.

Riham did not want to be photographed because she said she was a grown woman, not a girl.

"I am accustomed every year to go with my parents to Jizan General Hospital to change my blood because I and my brothers suffer from sickle cell anemia," she told local media yesterday. "A week ago, I went to the emergency room at the hospital, as usual, and at eleven at night, a Saudi nurse in the observation room gave me the needle in my left hand to transfuse a bag full of blood, and then asked me to sleep until the blood transfusion ended."

After completion of the blood transfusion, one of the doctors from the emergency room examined me before I was discharged from the hospital," she said.

Two days later, she felt abnormal pain and was taken to King Fahd Central Hospital by ambulance.

"I waited for more than an hour in the waiting room and then I was admitted again to the hospital in a room with a number of other patients. Next day, they gave me a number of medications and discharged me from the hospital," she continued.

Although the transfusion appears to be the mistake of a technician, recent Health Institutes graduates rushed to say that it was the mistake of one technician and not an indication that technicians are lacking in proper education and training.

RELATED STORY - Wrong blood transfusion blamed for woman's death


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