HYDERABAD: Some swab samples to test for swine flu which were sent to Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) were not packed as per guidelines, yet the samples were tested, and in a few cases, the samples were carried to the institutes by relatives of patients which leaves a possibility of the handlers getting infected too, said Dr Anuradha Medoju, regional director, Regional Office for Health and Family Welfare. Samples from across the State are sent to IPM to test for Swine Flu.
The official, along with a central team, visited the institute when she made the observations. “When I was at the institute, a relative of a patient carried the samples to IPM. If the samples are carried in public transport, there is a chance of the infection spreading to others if the sample is taken from an infected patient. The samples should be properly sealed and not exposed to air,” Dr Anuradha said.
According to guidelines, swab samples need to be capped and placed in cold boxes before transporting. However, this was not followed by a few private hospitals and nursing homes which sent samples to the institute. Yet, the samples were tested, the official said.
She added that when they cross checked registers at IPM, it was mentioned that samples were not packed well, but that sample was good for testing.
“How can the samples be good for testing if they are not packed well. Guidelines should be followed. When a hospital does not pack it well, they should be informed of the guidelines,” Dr Anuradha said. IPM director, Dr Shiva Leela did not pick up calls for comments.