“It was the human factor that caused it,“ Märit Wikström, head of information, at Doc Morris told medical journal Dagens Medicin.
The incidents occurred between the 12th and 13th of April when a local branch of the newly opened branch of pharmacy chain Doc Morris in Stockholm suburb Sollentuna offered the free service to customers as part of a marketing drive for the new test.
With the help of a blood test customers were given an opportunity to find out haemoglobin and glucose levels in their blood.
“The skin was pierced with the help of a lancet, but for twelve people an old needle was mistakenly used,” Wikström said to Dagens Medicin.
Unqualified personnel used the same lancet on twelve people before it was discovered and stopped.
On the advice of the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) and the Stockholm County Council (Stockholms Läns Landsting) the pharmacy is now trying to get in touch with customers that could have been affected.
“This is very unpleasant and we are recommending that these people are offered vaccinations, against jaundice among other things,” said Mona Hansson, of the National Board of Health and Welfare to Dagens Medicin.
But according to Märit Wikström, the chance of having caught something is ‘miniscule’.
Just to make sure, however, the company has tried to get in contact with the twelve people that hypothetically could have been affected, by putting up a note in the branch in question. So far, only one person has been in touch.
Wikström doesn’t think that it is relevant that it was unqualified personnel
who conducted the tests.
“There is nothing that says that staff must be qualified. What is important is that they are given the proper training, and they had been,” she said to Dagens Medicin.
According to Wikström, the importance of changing needles had been part of the training.