B.C. pharmacist that reused syringe barrel for COVID-19 vax suspended | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. pharmacist that reused syringe barrel for COVID-19 vax suspended

Image Credit: PEXELS/Katja Fuhlert

A B.C. pharmacist who reused the same syringe barrel while giving out COVID-19 vaccinations has been suspended for one year.

New Westminster pharmacist, Bhanu Prasad Seelaboyina, admitted to giving the COVID vaccination to 96 patients in August 2021 using the same syringe barrel.

He also admitted he was dishonest about the matter when the College of Pharmacists of B.C. began an investigation.

The College said Seelaboyina made an "egregious breach of his ethical obligations as a healthcare provider."

According to an Aug. 19 College of Pharmacists of B.C. decision Seelaboyina admitted he used the barrel of the syringe over a two-day period in August 2021.

Soon afterwards he was under investigation.

"Between August 26 and September 9, 2021, (Seelaboyina) was not forthcoming when asked about his reusing of syringe barrels. Him not disclosing his conduct during this time period put 96 patients at risk and denied these patients the agency to determine how to make an informed decision to mitigate the risks," the decision reads.

"(Seelaboyina) stated that his dishonesty, when confronted with the allegations, was driven by a fear of consequences from admitting his conduct," the decision reads. "That such fear was irrational, and that the correct course of action, in line with (his) ethical obligations... was to admit his actions."

The decision does not say whether any of the patients suffered because of Seelaboyina's actions.

The College suspended Seelaboyina for one year starting Aug. 22 and once his licence is reissued he will be banned from giving injections for a further six months.

Seelaboyina will also have to complete an ethics course for healthcare professionals and appear before the College committee for a verbal reprimand after completing the ethics course.

He also has to take courses in conflict resolution, providing empathic care, preventing and reporting medication incidents, communicating with patients, addressing ethical issues and infection control.

Seelaboyina will also have to write an apology letter to the people that filed complaints against him.

READ MORE: Penticton pharmacist suspended yet again

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