With the outbreak of dengue in the district, the number of patients has increased in the government hospital as well as the private laboratories to test dengue, malaria, chikungunya, etc. As the government hospital-attached lab staff is using proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as lab coat and gloves, the private laboratories are violating the norms of labs.
Blood samples are being collected without gloves and the lab staff can be found working without personal protective equipment, which may affect other patients or lab staff, as in these private laboratories, the tests of sensitive diseases, such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, are also being conducted.
There are average 40 to 50 patients who go for different tests in each of these private laboratories situated around the Government Rajindra Hospital.
According to the instruction of World Health Organisation (WHO), one should use a single pair of non-sterile gloves per procedure or patient and use a single-use device for blood sampling and drawing.
“Despite thefact that I chose a prominent lab of the city, I found some blood on the rope which was tied on my arm. It was an odd experience which gave me a shock. The hands of the lab worker were not covered with gloves,” said a patient, Gurdeep Singh.
“We regularly conduct some tests for all the family members in a year, but I always think as to why the lab staff has not worn gloves; I never asked them though. Patients suffering from different diseases come here, and the irresponsible approach of the staff can spread many diseases among the patients” said a resident, Davinder Kaur.
Assistant civil surgeon Dr Harish Malhotra said, “In government hospitals all the staff wears gloves and lab coats, but as the private laboratories are not working under the health department, we have no authority to check the functioning of these labs.
This is happening because of the fact that there is no clinical establishment act in the state. The act provides registration and regulation of all clinical establishments with a view to prescribing the minimum standards of facilities and services provided by them.”