The Delhi government has sought a reply on the use of expired stents on terminally-ill cancer patients.
The government has sought a reply from the Lok Nayak Hospital authorities on the use of expired stents on poor cancer patients.
In a letter to the medical superintendent, Dr Amit Banerjee, the principal secretary (finance and health) J.P. Singh has sought clarification on the use of long expired stents on 11 patients.
A copy of the letter is with Hindustan Times.
The letter reads: “It has been brought to my notice that serious irregularities have been noticed during the audit.”
Singh has also sought an explanation on the bulk purchases made by the department of medicine at Lok Nayak.
“Sixty stents were purchased in 2004 by the Endoscopy Department, out of which only 20 were used till the date of conclusion of the audit. The stents expired in April 2007. Thus, they were purchased in excess.”
The audit report had mentioned that of the 20 used stents, 11 expired stents were implanted in patients in the period between October 27, 2007 to October 8, 2009.
“The medical implications cannot be commented upon by the audit. So that needs to be checked.”
Oesophaegal stents costing between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50, 000 are used in patients suffering from oesophageal (food pipe) cancer, where they are used to open blockages in the food pipe.
While there is no provision in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act to used expired material, doctors at Lok Nayak insisted that they could be re-sterilised and used.