National Taiwan University Hospital transplanted the organs of an HIV-infected donor on Wednesday without realizing it, putting five organ transplant recipients at high risk of contracting AIDS, the Department of Health said yesterday.
The department said it was the first known incident of recipients being exposed to the risk of contracting AIDS because of organ transplants.
The hospital informed the health department of the incident earlier in the day, Centers for Disease Control deputy director Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said.
Shih said the hospital had offered emergency anti-HIV medication to the five organ recipients.
The hospital has not issued a statement on why the organs were not properly screened before the transplant or when it discovered that the donor had HIV.
The department has demanded that the hospital present a full report on the incident in three days.
Shih said the hospital had apologized to the patients and their families and briefed them on the situation. He added that to the best of his knowledge, the hospital had consistently conducted HIV testing on organ donors.
“We don’t know at the moment what went wrong in this case, which has left five innocent organ recipients facing the risk of contracting AIDS,” Shih said.