Saudi health officials sacked after girl given HIV-tainted blood

This photo taken in March 2007 shows a Thai officer checking blood at Stem Life Company in Bangkok.

Seven senior health officials in Saudi Arabia have been sacked after a girl was given HIV-tainted blood in a transfusion, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Reham Hakami, who is aged 12 or 13 and suffers from sickle-cell anemia, received a blood transfusion at the Jazan Public Hospital last Tuesday, the Saudi Gazette reported.

It was later discovered she had been given HIV-tainted blood.

The seven officials involved in the case could face criminal charges if they are found to have intentionally infected the girl with the disease, a former judge told Al Arabiya.

“There could be criminal charges filed if the intent of giving the girl the virus is proven, but until then there are bodies within the justice system in Saudi Arabia that can rule on medical mistakes,” said former Saudi judge Mohammed al-Dehaim.

Authorities in the southern city of Jazan have launched an investigation into what they have described as a “mistaken blood transfusion procedure.”

Hakami has been transferred to King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh for treatment.

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