Jaipur surgeons question non-sterile PPE kits; administration points to cost factor, supple delay
The administration of the SMS Hospital, the premier institution in the state, has said on its part that procuring sterile kits will add to the cost and lead to a delay in supply so they were getting non-sterile kits that can be sterilised in OT sterilisation units before use.Updated: Apr 28, 2020 15:52 IST
Surgeons in Rajasthan’s Jaipur have raised an alarm over the supply of non-sterile personal protective equipment (PPE) kits that are being used in operation theatres (OTs).
The administration of the SMS Hospital, the premier institution in the state, has said on its part that procuring sterile kits will add to the cost and lead to a delay in supply so they were getting non-sterile kits that can be sterilised in OT sterilisation units before use.
“I noticed today that the PPE kits given to us are non-sterile. I checked with the supplier and he confirmed that he was giving non-sterile kits to the government. This is grave because use of non-sterile kits will expose patients in OT to infections,” a surgeon at SMS Hospital in Jaipur said requesting anonymity.
Another surgeon, who also didn’t want to be identified, said he also noticed that the PPE kits were non-sterile.
“When I reached out to the hospital administration, they said the OTs were being supplied both sterilised and non-sterilised kits. But I am yet to verify this,” he said.
PPE kits in Rajasthan are procured by the Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation for use in government hospitals. According to a corporation official, it was getting the kits from four suppliers.
Sunil Ramchandani, one of the suppliers based out of Jaipur, said sterilisation will disturb delivery schedules.
“Sterilisation takes around 10-12 hours and in our plant and we can put about 100 kits in one lot. So for the supply of 50,000 kits, we need 5,000 hours. The government wanted us to stick to delivery schedules and we wouldn’t have been able to do that if we sterilised the kits,” he said.
SMS Hospital’s superintendent Dr DS Meena said every operation theatre has a sterilisation unit and that the kits should be put through them before use.
“There are ETO machines in OTs that should be used to sterile the PPE kits. Some OTs have plasma machines. All these are used to sterile equipment. The kits should also be put through them,” Dr Meena said.
He said he was unaware about surgeons’ concerns but said they should be aware that a non-sterile item should be sterilised before use.
When asked why hospitals don’t procure sterile kits, he said the sterilisation process will add to the cost and delay delivery.
“We use around 1,500 kits a day and only 50-60 of them are used in the OTs. So our focus is on cost and timely delivery,” Dr Meena added.