In-house Assembled Protective Devices in Laboratory Safety in Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory of a COVID-19 Dedicated Hospital
Abhishek Dubey1, Aastha Bansal1, Subash Chandra Sonkar2, Binita Goswami1, Naina Makwane1, Vikas Manchanda3 and Bidhan Chandra Koner1*
1Department of Biochemistry, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India
2Multidisciplinary Research Unit (MRU), Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India
3Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India
*Corresponding Author: Bidhan Chandra Koner, Director Professor and Head, Department of Biochemistry, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India.
January 24, 2023; Published: February 21, 2023
Staff of diagnostic laboratory handling COVID positive samples is at risk and need to take recommended protective measures. Many protective materials were not available in diagnostic laboratories in India when the pandemic reached the country before it was prepared adequately, forcing laboratory managers to take innovative measures to protect the laboratory personnel. In this study, we have evaluated the effect of standard operating procedure (SOP) using innovative protective devices such as face shield made from OHP sheets and cardboard boxes fitted with hypochlorite spraying device as alternative to biosafety cabinet on contamination of laboratory surfaces and rate of infection among laboratory staff with virus causing COVID-19. These were used for 14 days along with other routine safety measures like use of gloves, surgical masks, OT gowns etc. before PPE and biosafety cabinet were made available in Clinical biochemistry lab of a dedicated COVID hospital in the national capital region of Delhi, India. Laboratory technicians, residents and nursing orderlies posted in clinical biochemistry laboratory were checked regularly for signs and symptoms of COVID 19 during these 14 days and tested for virus causing COVID 19 from their nasal and throat swab by RT-PCR on 14th day. The laboratory surface, by taking swab from multiple sites, was checked on 14th day for above-mentioned virus by RT-PCR. The COVID test report was negative for the staff members (n = 10) and no surface contamination was detected. Innovative and cost effective protective devices can be built in-house with locally available resources and are effective in preventing the spread of COVID 19 among the staff working in clinical biochemistry laboratory. Laboratory managers in resource scarce areas need to be innovative to face such sudden challenges like COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV 2; Biosafety; Laboratory Safety; Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory; Developing Country
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