Located at 110 Old Padonia Road in Cockeysville, MD, the Chesapeake Diagnostic Laboratory specializes in clinical and anatomic pathology diagnostic testing. Pathology is the branch of medicine which focuses on disease diagnosis through examination of organs, tissues, and fluids. These types of lab tests can be used to diagnose a wide range of conditions, but when a lab technician makes a mistake, such as losing a specimen or misreading test results, the results can be catastrophic. After receiving false information from a laboratory, the ordering physician cannot give the patient the right type of medical care.
Patients who are harmed by careless medical errors may be victims of laboratory malpractice. If Chesapeake Diagnostic Laboratory made a mistake on your lab tests, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, hospital bills, and other financial losses related to the error. At Whitney, LLP, we bring more than a decade of legal experience to each malpractice claim we handle, and through a combination of knowledge, skill, and tenacity, our diagnostic error attorneys have achieved favorable results for numerous clients throughout the state of Maryland.
We proudly provide free initial consultations, and will always keep your information confidential. To learn more about how Whitney, LLP may be able to help you recover compensation, call our law offices at (410) 583-8000. Our line is always open for your call, including evenings and weekends.
Were You the Victim of the These Common Diagnostic Errors?
Sometimes, the symptoms of a disease are clear enough for a doctor to make an immediate diagnosis. In most cases, however, the doctor needs to get additional information first. When a doctor needs more data before making a diagnosis, he or she turns to a medical laboratory, which can perform various blood tests, urine tests, tissue biopsies, and other tests as ordered by the physician. Unfortunately, these tests aren’t always conducted the way they should be. In fact, due to issues like mislabeling and rough handling of samples, results are often compromised before any tests are even performed.
In 2013, medical errors became the third leading cause of death in the United States, surpassed only by cancer and cardiovascular disease. In an effort to curb the huge number of preventable deaths and injuries caused by medical negligence each year, researchers all over the world have published studies about how and why laboratory errors occur. One such study, published in the Clinical Biochemist Reviews, identified some of the most common mistakes in laboratory settings:
- Losing a sample or request for a test.
- Mislabeling a sample.
- Letting samples become contaminated.
- Letting blood samples clot before they can be used.
- Keeping samples in the wrong types of containers.
- Shipping or storing samples in the wrong types of conditions.
Other common clinical lab errors include:
- Calling the wrong physician about test results.
- Failing to communicate with physicians as necessary.
- Performing tests on the wrong sample.
- Performing the wrong type of test.
- Losing, misrecording, or misinterpreting the results of a test.
Do I Have a Malpractice Claim Against the Lab that Lost or Mixed Up My Test Results?
Regardless of how or why a lab mistake occurs, the consequence is often serious diagnostic error. These errors can take several different forms:
- Misdiagnosis – Misdiagnoses can occur because a lab worker is inexperienced, because a lab test has poor accuracy, because the condition mimics another condition, or all three. Lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer (colon cancer), Lyme disease, Celiac disease, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism are all known for being difficult to diagnose properly.
- Delayed Diagnosis – Despite warning signs like pain, rashes, lesions, swellings, and other unusual symptoms, diagnoses aren’t always made when they should be. The longer it takes for a patient to receive a proper diagnosis, the more difficult it becomes to fight the disease effectively.
- False Positive – When a healthy patient tests positive for a disease, the result is called a false positive. In addition to causing incredible stress and depression, a false positive could also lead a patient to undergo needless surgery or other risky, costly medical treatments.
- False Negative – When a sick patient tests negative for a disease, the result is called a false negative. Because the recipient of a false negative test result believes themselves to be healthy, they do not get the medical care they need.
Like all medical professionals, lab technicians and other lab workers are expected to take every reasonable precaution to minimize any risk of causing foreseeable harm to a patient. When the failure to meet this standard of care results in death or injury, or shortens a patient’s expected lifespan, the patient who was harmed may have a strong malpractice claim against the laboratory or individual lab worker who made the mistake.
If you or one of your loved ones was misdiagnosed because Chesapeake Diagnostic Laboratory made an error on or lost the results of your lab test, the laboratory malpractice attorneys of Whitney, LLP are here to provide you with around-the-clock legal support while we fight for the maximum compensation which may be available to you. For a free and private legal consultation, call our law offices at (410) 583-8000 today.