Clinical labs are staffed by medical doctors, assistants, phlebotomists, and technicians who take the samples, run the tests and analyze the results. They send reports to physicians and other medical professionals. Laboratory technicians are responsible for the collecting, handling, and testing of samples, then interpreting, recording, and reporting test results. Results from lab tests are used to diagnose, treat, and monitor disease states in patients. The results of these tests must be accurate, understandable, and delivered promptly. However, a doctor may be held liable for laboratory malpractice if he or she fails to order the correct test for a patient. If you were harmed by improper procedures or interpretation of lab results, you should call the seasoned Rochester medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers.
Lab technicians and physicians work together to diagnose diseases and illnesses, prescribe medications, and plan treatment for individuals. The outcome of lab results is critical to a patient’s well-being. Healthcare providers are required to appropriately order, administer, interpret, and provide lab results to patients. Unfortunately, these providers sometimes depart from the professional standard of care. The medical standard of care refers to the type of care that a reasonably skilled and competent medical provider with a similar level of education within the same area would have provided to a patient under the same treatment circumstances in which the alleged malpractice occurred. In other words, the accepted standard of care would be the care that you might expect to receive from an average doctor in the same field of practice under the same circumstances. The doctor’s medical knowledge and specialty are taken into account when determining the standard of care that should have been applied.
There are thousands of medical laboratories around the country, many of them in-house at hospitals and medical centers, and patients rely on their expertise and accuracy in times of need. Medical labs serve a crucial purpose and receiving proper diagnostic tests can be the difference between an accurate, timely diagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or a misdiagnosis. Regardless of whether it is a hospital lab or a third-party outsourced lab, medical professionals and hospitals must provide correct information to patients.
Some examples of laboratory malpractice include errors such as rushing the lab results, mixing up patient samples, mislabeling samples, constantly delaying the testing of a patient’s sample, using the wrong or faulty equipment, and sloppy sample taking. Laboratory personnel can also commit malpractice when samples are contaminated; when incorrect information is recorded; when the results of a test are not communicated promptly; or when the necessary follow-up tests are not ordered promptly. When the results of a test are not clearly defined, or there seem to be interpreting errors in the results, these actions can be viewed as critical laboratory errors that can result in medical malpractice.
There are certain instances when a lab error should be considered as a possibility. For example, if a patient’s condition or symptoms do not match the test results or if the present lab results are extremely different from previous test results. Second opinions should always be sought when abnormal test results come back. The laboratory technician should have the test(s) done again to be absolutely sure the results are accurate.
There can be very serious and devastating consequences for patients when something goes wrong with lab tests. Depending on the patient, the medical conditions, the lab error, and the way the error is handled or corrected, there can be many potential consequences such as continued illness, new illnesses, unnecessary surgery, worse symptoms, new symptoms, pain, mental suffering, disability or injury that is temporary or permanent, additional treatments, inability to work, and even death.
Proving negligence in the case of an error that occurs in the lab is often straightforward. Some mistakes are easy to track, such as switching samples or sending samples to the wrong location. Others are more difficult to prove, like when a patient believes a doctor should have ordered another test or a different test, or if a test was delayed. Anyone who makes a mistake in a laboratory malpractice case could be negligent, including a physician or a lab tech, or in some cases the company that owns the lab.
Laboratory errors are unacceptable. If you were harmed or a loved one was killed by laboratory malpractice, you should call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers. Our careers have been built around providing knowledgeable, tenacious representation when seeking justice for clients harmed by medical negligence. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we know how complicated any medical malpractice case is, and we know the specific difficulties that come with proving hospital-acquired infections. We also have the experience necessary to overcome these challenges to get you the full amount of compensation you deserve. The attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers represent injured patients and their families in Rochester, Syracuse, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Oswego, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Cooperstown, and Lyons. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to learn more about your rights.