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Drug Dept checks only 20 pc blood samples, finds them safe

Jalandhar, August 13:  Almost a week after the Drug Department found glaring irregularities at a local blood bank run by a Haryana NGO and days after the booking of officials of the blood bank, the department has declared the blood units of the NGO non-life threatening.

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The report is based on the tests of only 20 per cent of the samples collected from the blood bank.

While the report of the Drug Department has found glaring anomalies in the operation of the blood bank, the 20 per cent limit on the checking of samples has not gone down well with the NGO, Hindustan Welfare Blood Donors Club, which unearthed the scam. It demands proper testing of all the samples. While 44 samples were collected from the bank, the department conducted tests on only 20 per cent (12) samples and ruled out further testing of the samples.

This is in keeping with instructions received from the state by the local Drug Department. The department says the checking of these samples (units) collected from the blood bank did not show any abnormality dilution of the haemoglobin or presence of HIV/HCV infections hence not further samples will be tested.

The test costs Rs 1,000 per unit. The activists who blew the whistle on the bank are livid. Vinit Puri, member of the Hindustan Welfare Blood Donors Club, said, “Majority of the units of the bank were carelessly stored. Barring 10 or 12, all were kept outside or even dumped in bins. None of the units were properly labelled. We have even offered to get the samples tested with our own money from another lab, but that can’t be done without the consent of the department. All the samples need to be tested for the truth to emerge.”

Karun Sachdev of the Zonal Licensing Authority, said, “We are conducting the testing of samples as per the guidelines from the state. The testing is expected to be complete soon. While the blood bank’s operations were certainly suspicious, we are only determining with the test of the samples whether there is any life threat to patients.”

Joint Commissioner, Drugs, Pardeep Mattu said, “We are only holding random checks of samples and 20 per cent testing is enough. Since the initial samples haven’t come out polluted or diseased, no further samples need to be tested. These samples are not going to be used for transfusion further, so they pose no threat.”

Source Tribune India

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