Biosafety Risk Assessment of a Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory for SARS-CoV-2 Infection


Zorbozan N., Zorbozan O.

International Journal of Medical Biochemistry, vol.4, no.2, pp.1-17, 2021 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/ijmb.2021.28290
  • Title of Journal : International Journal of Medical Biochemistry
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-17

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Clinical laboratories are an intersection point for infected patient samples. According to the World Health Organization Laboratory Biosafety Guideline, the risk assessment approach is the backbone of laboratory biosafety. In laboratories, risk assessment is recommended to be carried out at predetermined periods and in every new situation. On February 12, 2020, the WHO published "Laboratory biosafety guidance related to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Interim guidance" and it was highly recommended to perform a local risk assessment for each procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In our study, it was aimed to evaluate the biosafety risk in the biochemistry laboratory where routine testing of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 is also performed.

METHODS: Risk assessment for “tests performed on analyzers” and “complete urinalysis test” processes were performed using risk assessment template included in supplement of interim guidance of “WHO Laboratory Biosafety Guidance Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019”

RESULTS: Overall initial risk for “tests performed on analyzers” and "complete urinalysis test" processes was determined to be "very high". We decided not to continue processes without taking additional risk control measures. Steps of "Pipetting sample and checking sample tube by scanning barcode" carried out during "tests performed on analyzers” were discontinued. "Manual microscopic urinalysis" process was discontinued. In addition to use of gloves and lab coat, it was decided to use surgical masks, caps, disposable lab coats, glasses. After taking additional risk control measures, total residual risk of both processes was determined as "medium".

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Since COVID-19 has no effective treatment to date, the exposure results evaluated as “severe”. Therefore, the probability of exposure became an important point in determining the level of risk.

INTRODUCTION: Clinical laboratories are an intersection point for infected patient samples. According to the World Health Organization Laboratory Biosafety Guideline, the risk assessment approach is the backbone of laboratory biosafety. In laboratories, risk assessment is recommended to be carried out at predetermined periods and in every new situation. On February 12, 2020, the WHO published "Laboratory biosafety guidance related to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Interim guidance" and it was highly recommended to perform a local risk assessment for each procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In our study, it was aimed to evaluate the biosafety risk in the biochemistry laboratory where routine testing of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 is also performed.

METHODS: Risk assessment for “tests performed on analyzers” and “complete urinalysis test” processes were performed using risk assessment template included in supplement of interim guidance of “WHO Laboratory Biosafety Guidance Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019”

RESULTS: Overall initial risk for “tests performed on analyzers” and "complete urinalysis test" processes was determined to be "very high". We decided not to continue processes without taking additional risk control measures. Steps of "Pipetting sample and checking sample tube by scanning barcode" carried out during "tests performed on analyzers” were discontinued. "Manual microscopic urinalysis" process was discontinued. In addition to use of gloves and lab coat, it was decided to use surgical masks, caps, disposable lab coats, glasses. After taking additional risk control measures, total residual risk of both processes was determined as "medium".

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Since COVID-19 has no effective treatment to date, the exposure results evaluated as “severe”. Therefore, the probability of exposure became an important point in determining the level of risk.