Indore: Hundreds of blood cancer patients are struggling for confirmatory tests as the flow cytometry machine in the state’s biggest government medical centre- Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College is non-functional for around two years.
HoD pathologist Dr Ashok Panchonia told TOI, “The flow cytometry machine is non-functional for the last two years. A letter for its repair has been sent to a company entrusted with its maintenance.”
“The company however informed us that the cost of the parts of the machine is more than the cost of the machine. So, it can’t be repaired and hence lying idle,” added Dr Panchonia. The machine was purchased at cost of Rs30 lakh in 2013 for medical college for confirmatory testing of blood cancer and other tests.
The machine is used for producing graphs of different cells in blood to analyse and detect leukaemia (blood cancer). It is a gold standard confirmatory test.
The machine can also be used for certain specific tests for HIV, spondylitis and others but preferably used for blood cancer. The machine was be transferred to the department of Immuno Haematology and Blood Transfusion in 2019. HoD, IHBT, Dr Ashok Yadav told TOI, “The company has provided an upgraded version of machine for performing tests related to bone marrow transplant.”
“There are however no reagents for performing all blood cancer related tests. If we get the reagents, then we can perform all those tests on this machine too,” added Dr Yadav. The medical college runs a government cancer facility, where around 4500 cancer patients come every year.