Blood Centre under Scrutiny: HIV-Positive Blood units issued

Amit Duggal, Assistant Commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration in Punjab, issued a stern notice to the Blood centre, highlighting the gravity of the situation.

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Blood Bank Centre Donation Unit
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on January 14, 2024 by The Health Master

Blood Centre under Scrutiny

In a startling revelation, the blood centre (Blood Bank) at the Civil Hospital in Phagwara, Punjab, has come under intense scrutiny as it issued three units of HIV-positive blood, endangering the lives of patients.

The Department of Drug Control in the state conducted an inspection, which revealed significant deficiencies, leading to the issuance of a formal show-cause notice to the blood center on August 24.

This action has compelled the blood Centre to halt its operations immediately and transfer its existing stock to other licensed blood Centres.

In this article, we will delve into the details of this alarming situation, outlining the discrepancies found during the inspection and the implications for patient safety.

Discrepancies uncovered at Blood Centre

The inspection report cited a total of 17 discrepancies at the blood Centre, shedding light on a series of concerning issues, including:

  1. Issuance of HIV-Positive Blood Units: Shockingly, the blood Centre had issued three blood units bearing the numbers 2120, 2207, and 2204, all of which tested positive for HIV.
  2. Absence of Policy for Blood Discard: The blood Centre lacked a clear policy for discarding blood units falling within the “grey zone” during Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTI) testing.
  3. Expired Reagents/Kits: Various expired reagents and kits were discovered in the serology lab, raising questions about the adequacy of quality control measures.
  4. Improper Storage of Reagents: Reagents, including Anti A, Anti B, and Anti-D monoclonal antibodies, were stored in uncontrolled conditions, potentially compromising their effectiveness.
  5. Lack of QC Test Reports: The blood Centre failed to produce Quality Control (QC) test reports for multiple blood components, including whole human blood, packed red blood cells, platelet concentrate, fresh frozen plasma, and cryoprecipitate.
  6. Inadequate Donor Medical Forms: Donor medical forms were found to be non-compliant with the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940, suggesting shortcomings in the documentation process.
  7. Incomplete Donor Forms: Some donor forms were not filled out properly by the Blood Transfusion Officer, indicating potential lapses in data collection.
  8. Improper Documentation: The use of Teflon tape and whitener in certain places in donor registers raised concerns about the accuracy and completeness of records.
  9. Non-Adherence to NACO Guidelines: The register was not consistently filled out by technicians and Blood Transfusion Officers, failing to align with National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) guidelines.
  10. Lack of Permanent Blood Transfusion Officer: The absence of a permanent Blood Transfusion Officer at the Centre raised questions about the institution’s leadership and oversight.

The Formal Notice and Its Implications

FDA State

Amit Duggal, Assistant Commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration in Punjab, issued a stern notice to the Blood centre, highlighting the gravity of the situation.

The notice explicitly stated that the blood Centre’s actions jeopardized patient safety and compliance.

It questioned why the blood Centre’s license (No. 1708-B) should not be suspended or canceled due to violations of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules of 1945.

Authorities’ Response and Future Actions

Abhinav Trikha, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration in Punjab, emphasized that they are responsible for regulating, not implementing, actions in blood Centres. The Director of Health will take any additional actions.

Dr. Adarsh Pal Kaur, Director of Health and Family Welfare, stated that blood Centre fall under the purview of the Punjab State AIDS Control Society. An inquiry will be conducted into the issue, and the possibility of filing a First Information Report (FIR) will be explored if the inquiry finds any wrongdoing by the blood Centre staff.

Bobby Gulati, Assistant Director of the Punjab State AIDS Control Society, clarified that the HIV-positive blood, when retested, was found non-reactive. Patients who received the blood have also tested negative for HIV. However, it’s important to note that HIV symptoms can take weeks or even months to appear.

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.

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