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Probe on needle reuse at RIMS

Nurses at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, were found reusing disposable syringes on poor patients on Monday morning, triggering a high-level probe into the shocking instance of basic medical safeguards being flouted.

RIMS senior deputy superintendent Dr Basundhara and medical officer (store in-charge) Dr Raghunath Singh during their morning rounds, found nurses recycling syringes on patients in the ICU of the medicine ward.

Basundhara said it was around 9.30am when the shocking violation was brought to her notice at the ICU of the medicine ward under Dr J.K. Singh.

“I immediately asked for an explanation from one of the nurses,” she said. “Reusing a disposable syringe is an open invitation to serious health hazards such as infections. A disposable syringe can be used only once on one person, not even twice on the same patient.”

Apparently, some of the nurses in their defence said they used disposable syringes on the same patient to inject “intravenous medicines and not for intra-muscular injections”.

But the nurses could not justify how the number of syringes discarded were less than the total number of injections prescribed to a single patient in the medicine ward.

“What has surprised and shocked me further is that the store had enough disposable syringes for the patients,” Basundhara said.

Officiating director of RIMS Dr S.K. Choudhary told The Telegraph that he had received the information of disposable syringes being reused and had ordered an inquiry into the matter.

“Deputy superintendent, store in-charge, matrons and other officials will conduct a minute probe into the incident,” Choudhary said.

RIMS sources said recycling disposable syringes in Jharkhand’s largest state-run hospital was common practice across most wards. Apart from reuse, their unsafe disposal was also a serious concern.