Wrong laboratory test report may result in misdiagnosis

Friday January 25, 2013

There may be a number of people in Connecticut who have suffered harmful consequences resulting from misdiagnosis of illness. Laboratory result errors are one potential reason behind such medical malpractice and may severely affect the life and health of patients.

A study report published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology reported potential cases of misdiagnosis and medication error resulting from laboratory result errors in the United States. In a review of 13,000 samples collected from more than 50 laboratories, it was found that as many as 3.5 percent of prostate biopsy samples were contaminated or switched with that of other patients.

Although the overall rate of laboratory errors was lower, the study did not find a single laboratory that was error-free. The laboratories included in the study were placed into groups based on location, work-flow and management structure. The authors of the study believe that the treatment error cases that stemmed from misidentification could have been prevented.

Laboratory reports are considered highly important in identifying or diagnosing an illness. The entire medical treatment procedure primarily rests upon the diagnosis. If there is an error in the result of a pathological laboratory test, there is a good possibility that the incorrect medication or treatment was administered.

Connecticut doctors may prescribe incorrect medications or treatment, relying upon erroneous diagnosis. This may produce harmful consequences for the patients. Inappropriate treatment may make the illness worse. Sometimes, immediate medical attention is needed but a laboratory error due to negligence may report that everything is fine when it is not, which could prove fatal to the patient.

Victims of negligent or reckless conduct of pathological laboratories can hold these laboratories liable for medical malpractice. They can file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses and other loss and suffering. Although medical malpractice lawsuits are often complicated, some cases can be resolved through mediation or negotiation. Regardless, if Connecticut residents suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice, an experienced attorney can help them recover the compensation and damages they deserve.

Source: Medpagetoday.com, “Study Shows ID Errors in Prostate Biopsies,” Charles Bankhead, Jan. 10, 2013

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