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Pregnant women forced to urinate on test strips

Pregnant women these days have to suffer more than just labour pain at Sassoon hospital. Shortage of staff at the termination of pregnancy and antenatal care OPDs has led to expectant mothers extending a helping had to the institute authorities, albeit unwillingly.

Innovation!
MiD DAY discovered that women are being supplied with empty sachets from pregnancy kits to collect urine samples, as there aren’t enough workers to clean the containers generally used for the purpose.


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Also, patients are being asked to urinate directly on test strips, which are then handed over to lab technicians for examining sugar and albumin levels.


Matter of concern: A woman carries an empty sachet from a pregnancy kit (circled) for collecting urine sample at Sassoon hospital

Unhygienic
The matter came to light when a MiD DAY reporter visited the OPD area. A woman, who had come for urine test, told us, “I was surprised on being asked to collect my sample in a sachet. They did not have a bottle. It is quite embarrassing to take these pouches all the way to the restroom and then carry it back, with utmost caution, to the lab.”


Self-help! A woman carrying a strip to the restroom for urine test at Sassoon Hospital. This strip will then be handed to a lab technician for examining sugar and albumin levels

Many women were also being made to urinate on the test strips, in an unhygienic washroom, a few feet away from the doctor’s cabin. If the number of patients is more on a particular day, the women are forced to wait for long periods after conducting the tests. Sources said this practice is unsafe, as there is high probability of the samples getting contaminated, which may in turn result in improper diagnoses.

Elaborating on this further, one of the sources from the OPD section said “We used to provide bottles to patients to collect urine samples for various, tests but because of unavailability of workers to clean those containers, we have stopped the practice. Now, we furnish empty sachets from pregnancy kits for the purpose. Also, we have been advised to supply strips, which are used to check sugar and albumin levels, directly to patients, who are then asked to urinate on them so tests can be performed.” 

1,500 Total number of beds at Sassoon General Hospital

The other side
Dr Ramesh Bhosale, HOD, gynaecology department at Sassoon hospital, said, “There is no shortage of anything in OPDs and wards. Also, directly urinating on strips will not affect the reports in any way. If that were the case, then I would have asked them to desist from using this method. However, I was not aware of the practice of using sachets for collecting samples. This may have been started by an intern or a trainee doctor.”  

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