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Originally published Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Taiwan prosecutors probe HIV blunder

A Taiwanese official says physicians at a hospital that mistakenly transplanted four patients with HIV-infected organs may face criminal prosecution.

The Associated Press

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TAIPEI, Taiwan —

A Taiwanese official says physicians at a hospital that mistakenly transplanted four patients with HIV-infected organs may face criminal prosecution.

Taipei Prosecutors' Office spokesman Lin Wen-teh said Friday that the physicians involved may face up to 10 years in prison if found to have caused patients to contract the HIV virus by negligence.

Taipei's National Taiwan University Hospital performed the transplants last week. The hospital, one of Taiwan's best, said a staffer misheard the donor's test results as "non-reactive" when the English word "reactive" was actually given, indicating that the donor had HIV.

The head of the university hospital's transplant department resigned Thursday to take responsibility for the blunder.

(This version corrects word "reactive" instead of "active" in 3rd paragraph)

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