Hyderabad: Accountability of the blood bank in-charge at the Government Maternity Hospital where dilution of blood was carried out is vital, according to an internal inquiry by the hospital. Laboratory technician Narendra Prasad was able to dilute blood without any fear of the authorities.
According to sources at the hospital, there have been two inquires conducted by the health department into the incident.
An official said, “An internal inquiry into the functioning of the blood bank by Superintendent, Dr Ratna Kumari and also an external inquiry by the Director of Health and Medical Education, Dr M Ramani, both found that there were serious lapses in functioning and there has been a failure in internal administrative vigilance.”
The blood bank in-charge, Dr B Nirmala, has been pulled up by the authorities for not being alert. According to the confession given by Narendra Prasad to the Sultan Bazaar police, the work of dilution was carried out by him mostly within the premises of the government laboratory.
A senior health officer said, “In that case, there must be a system to check the quantity of blood in the packet randomly by the in-charge. There must be a cross-verification system which must be exercised from time to time. This was not in place at the government blood bank which is very appalling.”
The drug inspectors of the Telangana Drug Control Administra-tion have also found lapses in data entry at the government blood bank which means that the set protocols for maintaining records were not followed. Due to this reason, both the laboratory technicians had a free run in the bank.
According to sources, “The lab technician Raghavendra had a fight with Prasad over night-shift. When the latter refused to switch duties it led to an altercation and he started talking about the activities carried out by him at the laboratory. Adding to this was the complaint from the patient which alerted the blood bank association and drug inspectors and led to the disclosure.”
Background of the case
On May 19, the Telangana Blood Bank Association received a complaint from a relative of a patient that a 250ml blood packet had been rejected by a private hospital. The blood had been purchased from Rachita Blood Bank. The relative registered a complaint.
The association found that the blood had been diluted with saline. One Narendra Prasad at the Government Maternity Hospital was identified as a suspect, but officials could not find him.
Association alerted drug inspectors; found empty packets to refill blood. Association also found labels of five major private blood banks in the city.
A case was registered by the Superintendent, Dr Ratna Kumari of Government Maternity Hosptial, at the Sultan Bazaar police station. The police finally nabbed Narendra Prasad along with five others on May 27 for diluting blood and causing harm to the health of patients.