Patients rely upon their doctors to provide them with medical care. In turn, doctors rely upon medical testing labs to provide them with accurate information about their patients. If a lab technician makes a mistake and relays incorrect information back to the doctor, the result can be a delayed or missed diagnosis, with devastating consequences for the patient.
If you or one of your loved ones was harmed by a lab testing error at Anne Arundel Diagnostics Imaging in Maryland, the diagnostic error attorneys of Whitney, LLP is here to help your family fight to recover the full compensation you may be entitled to. Our accomplished, results-oriented legal team has years of experience successfully handling highly complex clinical malpractice claims in Maryland. To set up a confidential, no-obligation, free consultation with Whitney, LLP, call our law offices at (410) 583-8000.
Lab Tests at Anne Arundel Diagnostics Imaging
Anne Arundel Diagnostics Imaging (AADI), which employs a team of about 19 radiologists, is a medical imaging center affiliated with the Anne Arundel Medical Center. With locations in Annapolis, Bowie, Odenton, Chester, and Pasadena, AADI provides range of diagnostic imaging tests, including:
- Breast biopsy
- Stereotactic biopsy
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy
- Breast density
- Cancer screening (oncologic imaging)
- Cardiac tests
- Cardiac CT (Computed Tomography)
- Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)
- Stress tests
- Cardiovascular imaging
- CT angiography
- MR angiography
- DXA/DEXA bone density scans (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)
- Heart scans/calcium scoring
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram)
- Nuclear medicine scans
- Bone scans for tumors
- Heart scans for coronary artery disease
- SPECT scans (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography)
- Pediatric imaging
- PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography)
- Ultrasound scans
- Women’s reproductive imaging
What Are Some Common Sources of Laboratory Errors?
There are many different types of human error which can impact the results of a lab test. Surprisingly, the bulk of these errors take place before a single sample is ever even tested. This prep phase of the process, or “pre-analytical phase,” which involves the organization, labeling, packaging, and transportation of samples, is when most medical lab mistakes occur. Some common examples include:
- Mixing the wrong amount of anti-coagulant into blood samples, which can lead to clotting.
- Failing to send requested samples.
- Sending time-sensitive samples too late.
- Sending samples which are missing information, or have information about the wrong patient.
- Storing and/or transporting samples in the wrong types of containers, which can leak, break, or result in tainted samples.
- Storing and/or transporting samples in the wrong types of conditions, such as extreme heat.
The next phase of the process, when actual testing takes place, is called the analytical phase. Errors can also occur during this part of the process, such as:
- Failing to perform tests correctly.
- Performing tests on the wrong samples.
- Failing to sterilize equipment properly.
- Incorrectly recording test results.
Common errors which occur during the last phase of the process, or post-analytical stage, include:
- Failing to promptly notify doctors about test results.
- Calling the wrong doctor or patient about test results.
- Misreading or misinterpreting the results of a test.
- No matter when the error occurs, the ultimate result is the same: the patient receives a delayed or incorrect diagnosis, leading to improper treatment and a worsening of their medical condition.
Lung and Breast Cancer: Frequently Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions
AADI heavily focuses its medical imaging services around the diagnosis of lung cancer and breast cancer. Unfortunately, both of these types of cancer are plagued by diagnostic difficulties, frequently leading to misdiagnoses, false positives, false negatives, and delayed or missed diagnoses.
Breast cancer, for example, is typically diagnosed through a combination of imaging and bloodwork. However, many of these tests have fairly poor accuracy rates.
Mammographies, or low-energy x-rays used to see internal breast tissue, produce images called mammograms, which some researchers report yield false positives more than half of the time. False negatives are also a major issue with mammograms, which, according to the National Cancer Institute, miss breast cancer in up to one fifth of all women screened.
Current methods of detecting and diagnosing lung cancer are also fraught with shortcomings. A recent study found that a diagnostic method known as sputum cytology, in which mucus cells are examined under a microscope, has a sensitivity rate, or a gauge of how often people with lung cancer are correctly identified, of only 66%. Chest x-rays, another common diagnostic tool, also score poorly for accuracy, missing lung cancer in as many as one quarter of patients who are screened.
If Anne Arundel Diagnostic Imaging missed your cancer diagnosis or made other errors which caused you or a loved one to be injured, you may be entitled to compensation. If you were the victim of a lab test error, call Whitney, LLP right away at (410) 583-8000 to start discussing your legal options in a free and private consultation.