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Lab errors might be prevented using costly DNA technology

Lab tests often play a central role in what diagnosis a patient receives. These tests must be tracked and performed appropriately so that the doctors get proper information upon which to make a correct diagnosis. When the lab tests come back with incorrect information, the patients can suffer greatly.

It has recently come to light that labs often misdiagnose cancer in biopsies. No matter which way the error falls, the patient is going to be negatively impacted. A false positive could lead to unnecessary treatments and mental anguish. A false negative could lead to curable cancer advancing to a terminal state.

The patients who have to deal with these errors often want to know what went wrong. When the answer to that is that the lab mislabeled samples or entered results in the wrong patient's file, the question of how to prevent this from occurring again will often come up.

It might make some people livid to know that there is a way to significantly reduce these lab errors, but labs won't use the technology because it is costly. There is a DNA marker method that could mark samples based on the patient's DNA, but doing so costs around $300 per sample. This cost is too being noted as being too high to ensure patients get accurate results.

If you are injured by an error on a lab test, you might decide to use your energy to try to hold the lab accountable. Filing a lawsuit is one option that you have to do this. In fact, this might make the biggest statement. Additionally, it could help you to recover some of the money you've lost due to the error.

Source: The New York Times, "The Lab Says It’s Cancer. But Sometimes the Lab Is Wrong.," Gina Kolata, accessed July 14, 2017

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