HIV ribbon red
The red ribbon is the international symbol of HIV and AIDS awareness.pixabay.com

Twelve people, including three doctors, have been kept under medical care in Alappuzha in Kerala as they didn't use universal precaution kit while treating an HIV-positive patient without taking proper precautions.

The team of doctors and nurses attended a man who was brought to Alappuzha General Hospital by an auto driver after getting seriously injured in an accident on 29 December. The patient's condition was very critical, and he had to be shifted to the ventilator. Without ascertaining of his medical history, he was shifted to Alappuzha Medical College, where a doctor accidently got pricked by a syringe used on the patient. Testing of the patient's blood in a private medical lab revealed he was HIV positive.

In normal cases, while treating unknown patients, every medical staff is recommended to use a precaution kit — both disposable and non-disposable — which include at least a cap, mask, gown and gloves. The disposable kit costs around Rs 800 and it is understood that these kits are not properly supplied to government hospitals in Kerala. The medical team in Alappuzha Medical College were in an hurry to treat the patient, and that is why they apparently did not take proper precautions.

Apart from doctors, two staff nurses, two nursing assistants, two ambulance drivers and the auto driver who brought the patient to the hospital are now being given special medical care, including the antiretroviral therapy and heavy dose of medicines for 28 days, to ensure they have not been infected.