In Mumbai: Santacruz blood bank violates safety norms, reveal RTI, FDA report

The blood bank at the civic-run VN Desai Hospital at Santacruz (East) has violated safety norms and compromised donors’ health, revealed a Right to Information (RTI) query and a report prepared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department.

For example, pathological reports were signed by technicians, not doctors, and the medical examination room was used to dispose of bio-waste, the documents showed.

According to the RTI application filed by a doctor, the hospital said there are only two pathologists overseeing operations at the blood bank and the pathology laboratory. “According to the FDA norms, there has to be dedicated pathologist to sign reports of histopathology, cross check the blood grouping and guide technicians. Pathologists from the hospital have signed only eight reports in 2016 and the rest were approved by technicians,” read the RTI query.

The hospital was also using its equipment sterilisation room for donor examination and the medical check-up room for storing bio-waste, risking infection to people, the FDA report showed.

It is not the first time that the hospital is under scanner for flouting guidelines. The government suspended the licence of the blood bank from September 26 to 29.

“The ELISA reader (which determines antibody levels patients have contracted with viruses such as HIV and other bacteria) doesn’t have a washer and it is done manually. The machine is outdated,” said the report.

Dr Ashok Bapu Ghongade, medical superintendent of the hospital, said, “We have worked on the problems pointed out by the FDA and most of them have been resolved. We have three pathologists and if one of them has to go for another commitment, the other two will take care of the lab work.”

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