The experiment was conducted by the medical institution's director
Tea was passed off as a urine sample and then tested in a lab at one of the municipal medical centers in Armenia. The lab staff then presented their findings.
The experiment was conducted by Nune Avanesyan, the director of the aforesaid medical institution, who has been heading the hospital for eight months. She reported that she had received numerous complaints as to the quality of lab tests. She decided to personally check the scrupulousness and professionalism of her employees.
Avanesyan submitted a container with green tea to the lab. The tea was very similar in color and consistency to real urine. To her surprise, she got ‘real’ urine test results.
“I received results that included all the cellular components, be it leukocytes, erythrocytes or epithelial cells. Tea leaves couldn’t possibly contain all that. The test results I got were similar to those of a patient with acute pyelonephritis,” said Avanesyan.
The lab staff claimed that ‘it could have happened to anyone’. Moreover, they suspect that the director could have submitted something else alongside the tea.
“How should we know? Maybe there was urine [in the sample] as well. We aren’t lab animals, are we? What’s going on here? I’m a specialist too, so I can dig up a lot of dirt in various labs,” said a lab technician.
Avanesyan stressed that these specialists were dealing with human health. Meanwhile, the deputy director admitted that he was shocked to hear this as many patients may have had the wrong treatment prescribed based on such lab test results.
Having received the test results, Avanesyan held a staff meeting and presented the results of her experiment. Out of 15 employees, eight resigned afterwards.
Avanesyan told journalists that she also had her blood tested in order to check the lab personnel. She sent three samples of her own blood under three different names and received three different results. In her words, the results of all three tests were so different that the blood samples looked as if they belonged to three different people.
Levon Altunyan, the Armenian Minister of Health, has already assessed the incident.
“A hospital director is required to exercise control over the quality of a medical center, which certainly implies a creative approach,” said Altunyan.
When asked if he was concerned over the fact that there were non-professionals working in the lab, he answered that ‘anything could happen’.