PGI virology dept under lens for expired kits’ use

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 24, 2015 11:07 IST

The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s (PGIMER) vigilance cell has started investigation into the use of expired kits for pregnancy-related tests. As per information, the kits were used for at least three months after they had expired, posing a serious to the health of the unborn child.

Last month, the Medical Technologists’ Association of the PGIMER had given a complaint to the institute’s vigilance cell as well as to the director, alleging that junior doctors as well as medical technologists were being forced to use expired enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Elisa) — a common laboratory technique used to measure the concentration of antibodies or antigens — kits by Prof RK Ratho, head, department of virology.The kit is used for basic antibody test (Rubella IgM) in pregnancy cases to detect any congential malformations and for deciding whether or not to start antiviral therapy in chronic Hepatitis-B positive cases.

Sources said that taking note of the complaint, the vigilance cell of the institute has started an inquiry into the matter. The communication regarding this has also been sent to the complainant, Ashwani Munjal, who is general secretary of the association.

The association had alleged that Rubella IgM kits had expired on November 12 last year but the staff was forced to use them till February this year. Similarly, Elisa kits with expiry date on November 9, 2014, were used till January 16, 2015.

The association had also claimed that the reports of the tests done using expired kits were signed by faculty and technical staff of the institute.

Despite repeated attempts Dr Ratho, head, department of virology, couldn’t be contacted as his mobile remained switched off.

Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said they were looking into the matter. “If it is found true, we will take appropriate action against the guilty.” she said.

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