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Health News of Sunday, 7 June 2015

Source: GNA

Faulty medical devices can cause wrong diagnosis - GSA

The Ghana Standards Authority on Friday called on all healthcare facilities to ensure regular calibration of their medical and laboratory devices, to prevent incidences of wrong diagnosis, results and prescriptions.

Mr Kwabena Acheampong, the Director of the Metrology Division of the Ghana Standards Authority, at a press briefing on the importance of calibration of medical devices in Accra, said this could end up endangering the lives of people.

He explained that, faulty medical devices could be the cause of wrong diagnosis, results and prescriptions by medical doctors, who rely solely on these readings, leading to unnecessary referrals of patients for further specialised treatment.

He said any distortions due to faulty medical devices could therefore result in catastrophic health situations and a negative effect on quality healthcare delivery.

Mr Acheampong explained the purpose of calibration as to minimise any measurement uncertainties by ensuring the accuracy of test equipment, eliminate wrong readings in the user's measurement system relative to the reference base and ensure that users of measurement equipment rely on accurate measurement results.

He said in spite of the importance of regular calibration of medical devices, most public and private health institutions fail to adhere to the law and continue to use expired calibrated equipment, assuming that they would produce the same quality results as they used to do when they were first procured.

He explained that over time, there was the tendency for results and accuracy to "drift", and it was by regular servicing, maintenance and calibration of these equipment throughout their lifetime that would ensure reliable, accurate and reputable measurements.

He said the GSA as mandated by the law, was spearheading a campaign to change the practice and have been collaborating with some health institutions to calibrate their devices, and called on other institutions to join in to help prevent the looming danger of the effect of poor medical services resulting from negligence.