The Rajasthan government on Monday ordered a probe into a possibly life-threatening gaffe at the Mathura Das Mathur Hospital in Jodhpur where antibiotic injection carrying a 'for-animal-treatment-only' warning was administered to in-patients over six days.
The government also suspended the store-keeper of the hospital who failed to notice the warning though the drug-manufacturer later clarified that the injection was meant for humans and the warning label was pasted by mistake.
The antibiotic injection Meropenem was procured under the chief minister's free drug scheme, a highly popular healthcare project launched during the previous Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot.
As many as 155 vials of the antibiotic injections were administered to patients admitted to the surgery and trauma wards of the hospital in the last six days but no ill-effects have been seen so far.
The error was noticed on Sunday and the injections stopped.
Principal secretary, medical education, JC Mohanty said a three-member investigation committee has been formed and will submit its report within seven days as directed by health minister Rajendra Rathore.
"No side effect of the drug was seen on any patient administered the injection," MDMH superintendent Dr Deepak Verma told Hindustan Times.
He said any reaction to the medicine would have been visible within eight hours.
The 800-bed MDMH in Jodhpur – around 350 km from here – is one of the premier government hospitals in the entire district.
Dr Verma said the Himachal Pradesh-based manufacturer of the antibiotic -- Pushkar Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd -- has informed that the drug was not for animal treatment but by mistake the warning label was pasted on the vials.
District drug controller Manish Gupta said seized samples have been sent to Jaipur for laboratory tests to ascertain the manufacturer's claims.
The medical college had -- through open tenders -- procured 82 types of drugs including Meropenem, a remedy for severe infectious diseases. The drug can be used both for humans and animals but the dosage differs.
The drug controller of Jodhpur has seized 845 vials of the injection from the store and four drug distribution counters of the hospital on Monday morning.
Drug control officials also raided the shop and warehouse of a chemist who supplied the drug to the medical college on June 17.