Hospitals asked to scrap suspect syringes

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 August, 2008, 12:00am

The Hospital Authority said it had scrapped a batch of 3,300 syringes that might have packaging problems, after using another batch of 69,000 that might have had the same problems.

A small part of the batch of BD 60ml Luer-Lock Syringes, supplied by United Italian Corp (Hong Kong) Ltd, had packaging problems, an authority spokeswoman said yesterday. The supplier had issued a recall as a precaution. The authority had reviewed all 10 hospitals that had used the syringes and received no reports of adverse effects.

The authority spokeswoman said 10 hospitals had stocked a total of 69,000 syringes from the affected batch since 2005. About 3,300 were unused when the recall was issued on August 13. Hospitals had been told to stop using the syringes in the stock.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service said it had been notified by Chiron - part of Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Novartis, which supplies instruments and reagents for nucleic acid testing worldwide - on August 15 that some of the reagents supplied to customers in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region would be recalled because a malfunction had been discovered in a storage freezer used by a Chiron-appointed courier.

But the Hospital Authority said there was no evidence to suggest that the safety of its blood products had been compromised.

All blood products were confirmed to have met blood transfusion service requirements and were suitable for clinical use.