18 doctors, nurses exposed to potential HIV infection after urgent surgery

By Lien Chau, Thanh Nien News

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The woman has recovered after doctors removed her bleeding uterus and did not stop after they knew that she is HIV-positive. Photo credit: VnExpress The woman has recovered after doctors removed her bleeding uterus and did not stop after they knew that she is HIV-positive. Photo credit: VnExpress

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A group of doctors and nurses at a Hanoi hospital are facing risks of HIV infection after they performed an emergency procedure last weekend on a woman whose HIV status was not disclosed. 
The team at Hanoi Ob-gyn Hospital said they did not wear special protection when they helped stop the bleeding from her vagina. 
Dr Luu Quoc Khai, who led the team, said the woman was in a critical condition and her heart almost stopped.
The team could not save her uterus due to gangrene and had decided to remove it. 
Khai said the hospital’s lab informed the team that she was HIV-positive during the procedure.
“But we had to continue to safe her,” he said, as cited by news website VnExpress.
He said the woman could have died if she did not receive the surgery immediately. His team could not wait for the HIV test result and did not have time to put on special eyewear and shields.
She has recovered after the procedure. The woman said she contracted the virus from her husband, who died ten years ago in a road crash.
Her son, 11, was with her before the emergency incident. He is healthy. 
Khai said he has no regret of exposing himself to the risk “because we have saved our patient.”
All the team members have received post-exposure prophylaxis. 
They will receive further tests in the next six months.
Three of them are pregnant.

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