Headquartered in Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University and its medical laboratories have become world-renowned leaders in medical innovation and quality patient care. However, even a laboratory as trusted and respected as Johns Hopkins is not infallible. All lab technicians, no matter how highly skilled, are susceptible to human error – and when human error compromises the results of a lab test, the consequences for the patient can be devastating.
If Johns Hopkins Medical Laboratories missed your cancer diagnosis, misdiagnosed your illness, or made other mistakes on your medical tests, you and your loved ones may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering, medical bills, hospital bills, lost earnings, and other hardships caused by the lab’s mistake. The diagnostic error attorneys of Whitney, LLP can help. Our practice has successfully handled numerous clinical malpractice cases, and will stand by your side throughout every stage of the legal process.
To set up a free, completely confidential legal consultation with Whitney, LLP, call our law offices at (410) 583-8000. Even if you aren’t certain that you need an attorney or wish to take legal action, we encourage you to contact us for a free assessment of your case. We are happy to take your call at any time, including nights and weekends.
Did Johns Hopkins Medical Laboratories Make a Mistake on Your Lab Test?
Johns Hopkins Medical Laboratories provides a broad range of basic and complex medical services, including:
- Clinical microbiology lab tests
- Bacteriology (pathogen detection, toxin testing, bacterial identification)
- Molecular microbiology (HPV, hepatitis C and B)
- Mycobacteriology (tuberculosis)
- Parasitology (malaria, giardia, blood parasites)
- Virology (herpes, varicella-zoster)
- Cytokine analysis
- HIV testing
- Immunology tests
- Autoimmune disease tests
- Infectious disease serology tests
- Protein tests
- Molecular pathology and cytogenics
- Blood transfusions
- Breast pathology (breast cancer/disease)
- Renal pathology (kidney cancer/disease)
- Soft tissue pathology
- Urologic pathology (prostate cancer, bladder cancer)
- Neoplastic hematopathology
- Leukemia tests
- Lymphoma tests
- Tests for blood disorders
- Cardiovascular panel
- Lupus anticoagulant (antiphospholipid screen)
- Platelet function panel
- Tests for bleeding disorders
- Thrombosis risk screen
- von Willebrand Panel
Common Errors in Clinical Malpractice Cases
No one wants to imagine that their health could be jeopardized by another person’s lapse in judgment or breakdown in communication. Sadly, this exact scenario plays out thousands of times every day. Preventable medical errors became the third leading cause of death in the U.S. as recently as 2013, with researchers estimating that medical mistakes were responsible for about 440,000 fatalities each year. When non-fatal mistakes are also taken into account, that number grows even larger.
Researchers aren’t certain what percentage of medical mistakes specifically involve lab tests. What is known is that roughly 70% of all medical decisions made by U.S. doctors are based on lab test results, creating a huge and constant risk for all types of patients. Some common examples of lab mistakes include:
- Mixing up two patients’ samples or paperwork.
- Storing and/or shipping samples in damaging environments (e.g. extreme heat or humidity).
- Putting too much or too little anticoagulant into blood samples.
- Losing a sample prior to testing.
- Losing test results after testing.
- Not following up with the doctor who ordered the test.
- Misinterpreting test results.
- Testing the wrong person’s sample.
- Performing a test other than the test that was ordered.
- Breaking or spilling a sample because of rough handling.
- Allowing a sample to become tainted or contaminated.
- Allowing a time-sensitive sample to lose viability.
Frequently Misdiagnosed Diseases and Disorders
Medical science is becoming more advanced every day. However, while diagnostic methods have made great strides, the fact remains that certain conditions, whether due to a vague collection of symptoms or unreliable testing methods, are notoriously difficult to diagnose correctly. Unfortunately, many of these conditions are both common and serious. Some examples include:
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Lyme disease
- Celiac disease
- Heart attacks and cardiovascular disease
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Food allergies
Even if the test itself is guaranteed to be 100% accurate, the lab technician responsible for performing the test could still make a catastrophic error. Human carelessness and inattention have compromised countless screenings and diagnoses, often with injurious or fatal consequences for the victim. These outcomes might include:
- False positives
- False negatives
- Missed diagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis
If you or one of your loved ones was harmed because of a lab test mistake, the diagnostic error attorneys of Whitney, LLP are here to answer your questions, protect your legal rights, and fight for you in court. To set up a free and private consultation, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000. You will not be charged any fees for your initial consultation, and your information will be kept strictly confidential.