Chinese Hospital Gives Kid HIV, Decides $60K Ought To Cover Damages

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

Hospitals are finally facing consequences for giving a young Chinese boy a deadly illness during a botched blood transfusion.

A Yongding district court in Zhangjiajie ruled that five medical facilities, three hospitals, a blood supplier, and a blood station, were to collectively pay a settlement of $60,000 to the family of a 9-year-old boy who now has HIV as a result of their medical mishap, reports the People’s Daily. The settlement is $12,000 per facility for giving a child a disease that will inevitably destroy his life. The boy’s parents appealed the ruling Tuesday, demanding a higher settlement figure of $170,000, a minor request given the severity of the mishap.

Xiao Bao was hit by a tractor in 2014 and was taken to the Municipal People’s Hospital in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, where he was given a blood transfusion, the China Daily revealed. Four bags of blood were used to treat the boy. He was then sent to several other medical facilities for additional care, reported the South China Morning Post. During the treatment process, Xiao Bao picked up a disease far worse than his initial injury.

He was diagnosed with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, July 8, 2015 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Hunan. Since neither of the boy’s parents are carriers, authorities determined that the boy acquired the disease during the blood transfusion. In response to the diagnosis, Xiao Bao’s parents filed a lawsuit against the medical facilities that treated their son.

Over a million Chinese people are reportedly infected with HIV through blood transfusions at government-run hospitals since the 1990s. Another one million people picked up the virus through improper blood donations.

Some scholars suggest slightly lower estimates. In one incident, thousands of rural residents in Henan Province were infected after the provincial public health department set up a blood collection operation in collaboration with companies using unhygienic equipment. The state reportedly tried to cover up the incident, and many of the people who were negatively affected supposedly did not receive proper compensation.

China now has stricter regulations managing transfusions and donations but problems still occur.

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