Anywhere from 60% to 70% of the treatment decisions made by doctors in the U.S. are based on medical laboratory tests, such as tissue biopsies, urine samples, and blood samples. When a lab technician makes a mistake while preparing, conducting, or reporting on the results of a test, the ordering physician receives false information, which can lead to misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, and other serious medical problems.
If you or one of your loved ones was misdiagnosed due to a medical error at Kaiser Permanente Regional Laboratory in Rockville, MD, the experienced legal team at Whitney, LLP will be there to fight for the full compensation to which you may be entitled. Compensation can help to cover past and projected medical costs, past and projected loss of income, and other hardships you experienced because of the diagnostic error. To arrange for a free and private legal consultation with our knowledgeable laboratory malpractice attorneys, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 today.
Medical Tests Provided by Kaiser Permanente Laboratories in MD
Kaiser Permanente is a non-profit healthcare organization comprised of three branches: Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, and regional Permanente Medical Groups located in states across the mid-Atlantic region. In addition to numerous medical centers in locations across Maryland, which contain laboratories of their own, Kaiser also operates a regional laboratory located at 6111 Executive Boulevard in Rockville. Lab tests currently provided by Kaiser Permanente include the following:
- Fasting blood glucose test
- Fecal occult blood test
- Anal fissures
- Colon polyps
- Colorectal cancer (colon cancer)
- Growth hormone suppression panel
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
- OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test)
- Gestational diabetes (diabetes related to pregnancy)
- Pinworm tests
- Pregnancy tests
- Sputum culture
- Infection caused by bacteria or fungus
- Sputum cytology
- Lung cancer
- Respiratory diseases (non-cancerous)
In addition to its regional laboratory, Kaiser Permanente also runs Medical Center Laboratories throughout Maryland, with locations in:
- Annapolis – Annapolis Medical Center
- City Plaza Medical Center
- White Marsh Medical Center
- Woodlawn Medical Center
- Columbia – Columbia Gateway
- Frederick – Frederick Medical Center
- Gaithersburg – Gaithersburg Medical Center
- Germantown – Germantown Medical Center
- Hyattsville – Prince George’s (Hyattsville) Medical Center
- Kensington – Kensington Medical Center
- Largo – Largo Medical Center
- Lutherville – Towson Medical Center
- Pasadena – Severna Park Medical Center
- Rockville – Shady Grove Medical Center
- Silver Spring – Silver Spring Medical Center
- Suitland – Marlow Heights Medical Center
- Temple Hills – Camp Spring Medical Center
Common Lab Errors and Frequently Misdiagnosed Conditions
Numerous injuries and deaths are caused by lab test errors every year. When a lab technician makes a mistake, medical outcomes for the patient could include:
- False positive test results. A false positive is a finding of illness when a patient is healthy. In addition to causing a tremendous amount of emotional distress for the patient and their loved ones, a false positive can also cause a patient to be prescribed medication or be subjected to risky, costly, life-altering procedures which they don’t actually need.
- False negative test results. A false negative is the opposite of a false positive: a finding of health when a patient is ill. Because the patient incorrectly believes they are in good health, they have no reason to seek out the treatment needed to stop the disease progression and possibly save their life.
- Misdiagnosis as another condition. Misdiagnoses can be caused by factors like mimic symptoms, unreliable lab tests, and lack of experience or familiarity with a condition. Some examples of diseases and disorders which are frequently misdiagnosed include:
- Celiac disease
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Lyme disease
- Thyroid disease
- Delayed or missed diagnosis. Despite showing symptoms which should be detectable, such as lesions, rashes, or other abnormalities, even serious conditions like cancer and lung disease often go undiagnosed. The longer a diagnosis is delayed, the more aggressive treatment must become. If diagnosis is delayed for too long, the disease could advance past the point of treatability.
There are virtually countless errors which can result in these types of outcomes. Many, but not all, take place before any testing occurs at all, during the “pre-analytical” phase, which is when samples are prepped, transported, and stored. While less likely to occur, mistakes can also be made during the “analytical” (testing) or “post-analytical” (analysis/disclosure) phases. Some examples of common mistakes in medical laboratories include:
- Notifying the wrong patient or physician of test results.
- Failing to prepare or sterilize a testing device properly.
- Getting two patients’ samples mixed up.
- Losing a sample, a patient’s information, or both.
- Keeping samples in the wrong conditions (e.g. excess heat, moisture).
- Letting samples become comingled or otherwise contaminated.
- Failing to communicate with the ordering physician whenever necessary and appropriate.
- Failing to insert a sample or specimen into the right container, or even the right type of container.
- Misreading the results of a lab test.
- Marking down the wrong information about a patient or sample.
If you received an incorrect or delayed diagnosis because of a medical lab test error by Kaiser Permanente, call the law offices of Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 for a free, completely confidential legal consultation. You will not be charged any fees for your consultation, and we will provide you with a clear, straightforward assessment of your case and the possible options going forward.