Knowledgeable Laboratory Errors Lawyers Are on Your Side
Medical professionals have a duty to properly administer and record laboratory tests. Accurate lab tests are vital to ensuring a patient’s health, and laboratory errors directly lead to higher healthcare costs and poorer patient outcomes.
Schochor and Staton, P.A. has helped victims of medical malpractice recover compensation since 1984. Over that time, we have filed more medical negligence cases than any other law firm in Maryland and earned a reputation for exemplary representation. To discuss a possible laboratory error, please send us a message.
How Laboratory Errors Happen
Laboratory errors are mistakes that occur in the process of administering lab tests. Common laboratory errors include:
- Conducting incorrect lab tests
- Conducting incorrect tests on correct samples or vice versa
- Allowing blood samples to clot due to incorrect use of anti-coagulants
- Incorrectly interpreting laboratory results
- Confusing patient samples or information
- Failing to keep adequate records or recording wrong information
- Contaminating samples or excessively delaying sample testing
- Improperly storing samples
- Failing to conduct necessary follow-up tests
- Failing to inform patients of results on a timely basis
Laboratory errors are a real and present risk for many patients. Errors that result in false positives can result in needless follow-up tests or procedures. Errors resulting in false negatives can also cause delays in receiving necessary treatment and can potentially be fatal.
Preventable medical errors have been on the rise in recent years. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine reported that there were 98,000 fatal, preventable medical errors per year. By 2006, that number had risen to 160,000. According to the Hospital Safety Score, in 2013, medical errors were the third-largest killer of Americans, behind only cancer and heart disease.
The exact number of deaths caused by laboratory errors is unknown. However, statistics show that 70 percent of decisions made by medical professionals are based on laboratory results, meaning that even the smallest laboratory error can have major ramifications for treatment. Additionally, due to large volumes of tests being processed at many medical centers, the risk of laboratory errors is exponentially heightened.
If the laboratory data that your medical professionals use is incorrect, it can result in inadequate or inappropriate treatment, injury, and potentially death.