Chandigarh 21st November; The PGI Medical Technologists has registered its strong protest with Hospital Administration and Union Health Minister for the blatant violation of H1 N1 (Swine Flu) protocol at Nehru Hospital, which may prove fatal.
Though, the PGI Administration has appointed Nodal Officers for Collection, Handling and Transportation of H1 N 1 (Swine Flu) samples of known or suspected cases at Nehru Hospital, APC, etc. but the callous and insensitive approach may prove costly.
The medical and allied health professionals of C.D. Ward have been given training for Collection, Handling and Transportation of H1 N 1 (Swine Flu) samples. Therefore, it was further decided that all samples for H1 N1 of Nehru Hospital will be received through Communicable Disease Ward and the VTM (Viral Transport Medium) vials will be issued by it.
There has been complete ban and prohibition for relatives and patient attendants to handle and transport known or suspected samples of H1 N1 (Swine Flu) samples to Virology Laboratory. A special requisition form is also available in CD Ward. The cold chain process to preserve Viral antigen or RNA, which is least stable and degrades, is must to keep at samples at l4 °C. In the field the specimens should be transported to the laboratory within 24 hours after collected, during this period they may be kept at 4 °C. The sample must be wrapped in a leak-proof specimen bag with absorbable material like cotton.
Though, the Hospitals / Institutes from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh have been following the above protocol in true letter and spirit. The Nodal Officer, APC has also been following H1 N1 protocol but there has been blatant violation of H1 N1 protocol at Nehru Hospital PGI. The callous and insensitive attitude may prove fatal.
The residents have been sending known or suspected samples by obtaining VTM directly from Virology bypassing trained CD Ward Staff. Further, a number of known or suspected H1 N1 samples have been received in ordinary vials / vaccutainers without VTM and without cold chain packing. The proper requisition form has not been filled up since residents are sending samples bypassing CD Ward. Above all, the relatives and patient attendants are handling and transporting H1 N1 samples to Virology even without wearing gloves. Though, H1 N1 is airborne disease but these known or suspected samples pass in a highly unsafe manner through Nehru Hospital to Research Block A, which may cause H1 N1 epidemic.
Above all, in absence of VTM vial and cold chain, there will be degradation of viral antigen or RNA of even H1 N1 positive samples, which may be reported as ‘false negative’ causing havoc.
The Association has requested Dr. Anil Gupta, Prof. of Hospital Administration cum Medical Superintendent to take immediate corrective steps and measures lest H1 N1 epidemic spreads due to sheer negligence and insensitivity on the part of Hospital Administration.