Insist on calibrated equipment at treatment centres

Accra, June 6, GNA – The Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) has asked the public to insist on the use of only calibrated medical devices for conducting important tests on them.

It has, therefore, called on the public to look out for green stickers with calibration dates and renewals on medical devices. Red stickers denote devices that have not been calibrated.

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 on Friday, said the use of calibrated devices was very crucial to safeguard the health of patients and prevent incorrect measurements.

He said faulty medical devices can 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 result in catastrophic health situations and a negative effect on quality healthcare delivery.

According to him the issue has become important because many health facilities and laboratories in both public and private sectors do not calibrate their medical devices regularly as required by law, thereby compromising the test results given to their patients.

The situation is disturbing because medical equipment and instruments used in hospitals for monitoring and treatment of patients require regular calibration (at least every six months), in order to have confidence in their functioning and operation.

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.

Mr Acheampong explained that the purpose of calibration is 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 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.

Some of the medical devices he said include the sphygmomanometer for measuring blood pressure, clinical thermometers for measuring body temperature, Ovens for heating and drying, Autoclaves for drying towards disinfection, Freezers for storage of chemicals, fluids and regents, as well as weighing scales and balances for measuring body mass and other weights.

Mrs Elizabeth Adetola, the Deputy Executive Director in-charge of Core Services, Ghana Standards Authority, said quality health service was an issue that cannot be compromised on any grounds, and that explains why all health institutions must collaborate with the GSA in the calibration of their equipment.

The Authority, she said, seeks to alert all health institutions and medical laboratories to take the call of the GSA with regards to the regular calibration and verification of their medical devices serious.


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