A 19-year-old man in India died after he consumed rat poison in an attempt to end his life after he found out his infected blood was administered to a pregnant woman. He was taken to Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) in Madurai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, for medical treatment, where his condition was initially said to be stable, but he succumbed to excessive blood loss later and died.

S. Shanmugasundaram, dean (in charge) at GRH, said the cause of death was blood loss, a common complication after consumption of rat poison. “He vomited blood early on Sunday, following which we administered one unit of blood and three units of fresh frozen plasma. Despite our best efforts, we could not save him,” he said, as reported by Indian daily the Hindu.

The man, who wasn't identified because of local laws, had unintentionally donated HIV+ blood at a blood bank in Sivakasi, also in Tamil Nadu, Nov. 30. The blood was originally donated to be transfused to the man’s relative, but it was not used and hence was stored in the blood bank. At the time of donating the blood, the man was unaware of his HIV+ status and the hospital staff of the blood bank labelled his infected blood as safe.

The man had been working with a firecracker factory in Sivakasi and came to know about his HIV+ status when he underwent a medical examination for a job he applied for. He reconfirmed the status in another private lab and called the government blood bank Dec. 13, warning them not to use his blood. But by that time, his blood was already transfused to a 23-year-old pregnant woman since she was anemic. The woman is currently undergoing antiretroviral therapy (ART) at GRH.

The management and doctors at the hospital have been trying to save the unborn baby, likely due in January. J Radhakrishnan, principal secretary of Tamil Nadu health and family welfare department reportedly said, “We are toiling to protect the child from HIV infection. The Tamil Nadu health department will provide all the preventive medications and will take up the responsibility for the medical expenses.”

The Madras High Court took suo moto cognizance of the case and directed the state government to file a response by Jan. 3, News18 reported. Three health workers of the blood bank have been suspended immediately for negligence, after the issue was brought to the notice of authorities at the hospital which houses the blood bank.