Death of infant raises questions on SKIMS drug purchase system

Death of infant raises questions on SKIMS drug purchase system
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Use of Amikacin injection permitted without quality check

Srinagar: The death of an infant at SKIMS Medical College and Hospital, Bemina allegedly due to Amikacin injection has exposed the faulty purchase system of the institute as it has permitted the use of the drug without mandatory quality checks.
Official sources told Kashmir Reader that the authorities at SKIMS Bemina have sent multiple samples of Amikacin injection to multiple testing laboratories on Friday to obtain quality tests which were not available to them earlier.
“Purchase Committee of SKIMS Bemina has allowed the use of Amikacin without testing its quality and efficacy,” they said.
“The hospital officials have woken up to the negligence and mismanagement after the death of a baby boy following the adverse reaction due to Amikacin injection which has been manufactured by Neon Laboratories. They are now obtaining quality and efficacy test of the drug from multiple labs even as a death has already occurred due to the infected injection,” an official said.
The drug samples have been sent to Forensic Laboratory, Bemina and Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, New Delhi for quality check.
“It’s a delaying tactic so that family of the baby settles down. The practice to inform CDSCO is also mandatory under Pharmaco vigilance program which has forced the officials to get the drug samples checked,” said a doctor.
A 45-day-old infant, Junaid, son of Mushtaq Ahmad of Shahgund Bandipora died in the intervening night of February 13 and 14 after being administered with Amikacin injection a day earlier, according to the family.
“The doctors diagnosed him with acute pneumonia and he was admitted to ward no 7 on February 2 for treatment. Everything was going well as he was recovering fast but a nurse gave him some injection on February 13 which deteriorated his condition. He was later put on a ventilator by a doctor till he died Wednesday night,” his father Mushtaq Ahmad told Reader Correspondent. The family also staged a protest demonstration on Friday at Lal Chowk.
According to a Pharmacy Department official, the purchase committee of SKIMS Medical College and Hospital, Bemina relies on quality certificates from drug companies rather than testing the drug afresh.
“It is negligence on part of the purchase committee that they have allowed the use of the most sensitive drug without undergoing quality checks. They can’t blindly rely on company documents,” he said.
The official, who is expert in the Pharmacology, revealed that Amikacin must be stored in a standard room temperature (approx 25 degree Celsius) to keep its efficacy and quality intact. However, the pharmacists and nurses keep these drugs in abnormal temperature which usually compromises its quality.
“The pediatric ward of SKIMS Bemina keeps these injections in refrigerator or under heaters. This is also a negligence which authorities have to look after,” he said.
The principal of SKIMS Medical College, Dr Reyaz A Untoo admitted the death might have taken place due to ‘Pharmaco toxins’ present in the injection vial. However, he tried to play it down and said: “This can occur in one of the thousand vials in best of the health institutions.”
“Children die in tertiary care hospitals due to critical condition. We are not at fault as ‘Pharmaco toxins’ can appear in any drug. It’s beyond our control,” he said.
“I have ordered the inquiry and report will be complete after some days,” Dr Untoo said.
Asked why the tests reports were not obtained before, he said: “The purchase committee is under the direct control of SKIMS Soura and reputed drug companies usually test their drugs themselves. We usually rely on their quality certificates.”