Large scale anomalies were reported when the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) conducted a series of surprise inspections at private blood banks based in Lucknow. SM Medicare, Indira Diagnostics and Blood Bank and Allahabad Medical Association were among the blood banks to be inspected.
At SM Medicare the FDA team found that the blood bank was left unattended. There was no medical officer, nurse or technical staff on duty. There was a power cut. Blood samples which should ideally be stored at 4 degree centigrade and 6 degree centigrade were stored at 8 and 13 degree centigrade respectively. Even the thermograph on refrigerators was not functional. At Indira Diagnostics and Blood Bank and Allahabad Medical Association records were not maintained properly and at the former blood bank the number of voluntary blood donations was unusually high. There was absence of ELISA instruments for screening of diseases like HIV, AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, malaria and other STD'S (sexually-transmitted diseases) before issuing them to patients.
AdvertisementThe Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940 (DCA) states that units of blood can be issued only when the patient or kin provide a replacement unit to the bank and for this service, a nominal processing fee of about Rs. 840 is charged. But at private blood banks blood is retailed for Rs. 1500 per unit. Uttar Pradesh FDA spokesperson said, "Many blood banks are operating as business centers where patient care is least priority. We are working to clean up the system."