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Many lab tests in the U.S. faulty or inaccurate

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2015 | Failure To Diagnose

The failure to accurately diagnose a serious medical condition might be one of the most frightening and devastating situations for Massachusetts residents. At Donovan & O’Connor, LLP, we understand the implications of a wrong or delayed diagnosis, as well as other problems you can face from a medical error. Laboratory tests are one of the most common ways to screen a patient for potential illnesses. You should have every reason to trust that these tests are accurate and performed properly.

However, states The New York Times, this is not always the case. The FDA recently concluded that many of the lab tests currently being performed in the United States – including some that are considered standard for their respective conditions – may be widely unreliable and inaccurate. Countless patients may be put at risk as a result.

Some false positives or faulty diagnoses based on laboratory testing have resulted in unnecessary surgical procedures, women aborting healthy fetuses or mistakes in drug prescriptions. These tests include some used for heart disease, cancer, Lyme disease, autism and other serious conditions. One such test involves a blood test for ovarian cancer that is reportedly not proven effective but is still commonly used.

Officials report that the actual number of patients harmed by faulty laboratory tests is unknown, since there are no national reporting standards for adverse medical events. Some lawmakers are attempting to set more stringent standards on lab tests, as well as mandates for reporting medical mistakes. Enacting effective regulations for laboratory tests may give patients better results and save lives. Learn more about the potential consequences of a delayed or mistaken diagnosis by visiting our page.