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Lab contaminated sample
Old 08-03-2019, 02:21 PM   #1
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Lab contaminated sample

Hello all
Anyone run into issue where a lab contaminated samples provided? A family member recent underwent some test where they had to sedated and samples were taking to run test. We waited and waited and finally doctor got back to us and apparently lab contaminated samples with someone elses so they cannot rule out something may be wrong. Who should be responsible for cost if additional test are needed.
How should we handle it going forward?
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:40 PM   #2
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Perhaps this question goes first to the lab, and then, depending on their answer, to your insurance company. I don't think the insurer would want to pay twice for the lab's error, but they might also be good to engage to prevent the lab from trying to charge you?
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:48 PM   #3
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Is the lab in the facility where the test was done? Such as a hospital lab? Or in the same umbrella organization? That would make the case stronger to get the procedure repeated for no cost. The sedation part makes it more complicated as a facility is involved Always harder than an individual provider. On the couple of occasions something happened to a specimen I had obtained in my office ( PAP smears come to mind) even though I was not at fault for the lab errors I repeated the procedure at no charge, apologized profusely and made every effort to schedule it at the patient’s convenience.

Did the doctor speak directly to the family member? What did they say?
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Perhaps this question goes first to the lab, and then, depending on their answer, to your insurance company. I don't think the insurer would want to pay twice for the lab's error, but they might also be good to engage to prevent the lab from trying to charge you?
The lab definitely should not charge the patient or the insurer
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:14 PM   #5
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It wasn't contamination, but a doctor didn't get enough cells for pap smear per the pathologist. I don't believe I was charged for the pap reading or the second pap sample.

I credit the lab for telling you that there was a problem.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:51 PM   #6
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The lab definitely should not charge the patient or the insurer
If the procedure or a different one has to be done who should be expected to cover all associated cost?
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:05 PM   #7
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It wasn't contamination, but a doctor didn't get enough cells for pap smear per the pathologist. I don't believe I was charged for the pap reading or the second pap sample.

I credit the lab for telling you that there was a problem.
What should only have been a week at most for results turned into 6 weeks of waiting. The only thing the doctor would said was her hands were tied waiting for the lab results and the lab told the doctor they had to send out samples for a consult. Only when the doctor called back did she let us know about the contamination issue. She said the lab could not with 100 percent certainty say the samples were ok.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:07 PM   #8
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Is the lab in the facility where the test was done? Such as a hospital lab? Or in the same umbrella organization? That would make the case stronger to get the procedure repeated for no cost. The sedation part makes it more complicated as a facility is involved Always harder than an individual provider. On the couple of occasions something happened to a specimen I had obtained in my office ( PAP smears come to mind) even though I was not at fault for the lab errors I repeated the procedure at no charge, apologized profusely and made every effort to schedule it at the patientís convenience.

Did the doctor speak directly to the family member? What did they say?
Thanks for the reply. Yes the doctor finally spoke to the family member. See other reply for details.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:07 PM   #9
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No answer, just that I share your frustration. When I was a kid, they mixed up my bloodwork. I guess it’s pretty rare for a child to have the level of diabetes that they thought I had. I ended up in the hospital for a couple days having blood drawn every hour. They would give me crap to drink and log my food intake and poke my arm. And people wonder why I get anxious about blood draws as an adult.

Medical field is a miracle, but when they screw up and it’s you, it can really suck. I so wouldn’t want to be sedated again due to their error. Unfortunately, they won’t do anything to alleviate your physical suffering. Feeling bad for your family member.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:00 AM   #10
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It goes without saying to be sure and check whatever disclaimers and releases they made the patient sign.

At my local hospital system that can be hard to do since they shove an electronic signature pad in front of you and say, "sign here," but always seemed surprised and a bit annoyed when asked to provide a copy of what it is that's being signed for review.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Perhaps this question goes first to the lab, and then, depending on their answer, to your insurance company. I don't think the insurer would want to pay twice for the lab's error, but they might also be good to engage to prevent the lab from trying to charge you?
I think the problem is that, unless the lab is willing to admit to the error (in which case they should repeat the test free of charge), there's no way to prove that it was the lab that caused the contamination, as opposed to a manufacturing issue with the Vacutainer tube, or that the equipment used to draw the blood wasn't contaminated during the draw. Those seem really unlikely, but you can't prove a negative, so they can't be disproven.

And Jerry, I know what you mean; I was hospitalized when I was 11, and came out with an aversion to needles that probably bordered on a phobia. So when I was old enough, I started forcing myself to donate blood as often as possible, and then later platelets, which can be donated much more often than whole blood. It took a few years, and at first I would have to just mindlessly, rapidly talk about nothing in particular to keep myself from jumping out of the chair, but I'm sure they are used to that. But eventually I could even watch the draw, although I usually prefer not to.
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:54 PM   #12
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I had my prostate biopsy samples lost by someone, doctor or lab. Doctor said he would repeat, with a general anesthetic at the hospital since I did not do well at his office with a local, at no out-of-pocket cost to me. No lab charge initially anyway. Had to get a catheter after the hospital procedure, so not sure which biopsy was worse. Thanks to whoever lost my sample!

I had a routine blood test come up with pretty much zero testosterone. The doctor said either it was from a woman or I was really screwed up. The lab repeated the testing without an extra charge.
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