Unregulated labs put patients’ lives at risk: DAK

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Srinagar: While medical diagnostic centers have mushroomed in J&K, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that the absence of regulations is leading to the issuance of misleading or outright wrong laboratory reports.

Describing accuracy of lab tests critical for medical decisions, President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan said that unregulated labs are putting health and lives of patients at risk.

“More than 70% of medical decisions are based on lab test results and their inaccuracy is causing confusion among doctors and sufferings among patients. Although the centre has passed the “Clinical Establishment Act in 2010” to bring into its purview the diagnostic industry, but the law is yet to be implemented in J&K,” DAK said.

Stating that while “National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories” has been established to ensure quality in labs, but in J&K they operate like mom-and-pop shops in the absence of any binding regulatory norm.

“The faulty tests can lead to misdiagnosis, wrong treatment and can unnecessarily cause patients to undergo uncomfortable and even dangerous procedures. Often patients who have a heart attack or stroke will have their blood analyzed so that doctor can determine how much blood thinner to give them,” reads the statement.

It added that with too much blood thinner patients can bleed to death, too little, and their blood can clot causing another heart attack and stroke. “A wrong sugar report can prove fatal to a diabetic and an incorrect cholesterol test can subject a patient to unnecessary side effects of a lipid lowering agent. Every sample is a life”, but there is no way to quantify how many patients are being harmed because the lab errors are unreported,” said the DAK. (PTK)

 

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