HIV blood case: 7 Saudi health officials sacked
Riyadh, February 18, 2013
Seven senior officials seen involved in the case of transfusion of HIV-tainted blood to a young girl in Saudi Arabia have been sacked, according to a report.
The director general, medical director, directors of laboratory and blood bank and the technical supervisor of blood bank at Jazan General Hospital were removed from their jobs, the Saudi Gazette report said quoting a health ministry announcement.
The director and the technical supervisor of the blood bank were also fined SR10,000 each, the report said.
The coordinator of the AIDS program and the director of labs and blood banks in the Directorate General of Health Affairs in Jazan were also sacked, it said.
The lab technician, who was directly involved in the tainted blood transfusion, was stripped of his license and removed from job, the ministry announcement said.
The ministry also stopped blood donations at Jazan General Hospital till proper measures are taken to ensure safer blood donations.
The actions were taken on the recommendation of a specialist committee formed to investigate the case of 13-year-old Reham Al-Hakami.
The donor of the HIV-tainted blood will be referred to the appropriate authorities, it said.
Reham, who suffers from sickle-cell anemia, underwent a blood transfusion last Tuesday at Jazan General Hospital. When the technician discovered the girl may have been given infected blood, the hospital sent an ambulance to the girl’s home and rushed her to the King Fahd Central Hospital in Jazan.
Meanwhile, Reham was airlifted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) in Riyadh at the behest of the Minister of Health.