LabCorp Sucks
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04 Jan 10 LabCorp Test Mistakes HTLV Virus

LabCorp MistakesI received this email from Joan in New York who was misdiagnosed as having the HTLV virus by LabCorp. LabCorp mistakes, like this one, cause thousands of dollars in additional tests and devastate the lives of those misdiagnosed. Sadly, LabCorp may have mixed her blood samples with someone elses or could have had a bad reading because of tired, overworked Laboratory technicians. We’ll never know why Laboratory Corporation of America made this mistake, but I can guarantee you that it’s not the first nor will it be the last.

Here’s what Joan had to say:

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Labcorp original blood work returned a positive result for HTLV, Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus.  If you can imagine, I was devastated.  The last two weeks have been awful. This virus is much like HIV;  it’s sexually transmitted, and transmitted through needle sharing and blood transfusions. My doctor also communicated there was no cure. 

I could not imagine where I would have contracted such a disease, but I have been feeling weak and tired, and assumed it was true.   My family and I have been devastated.

My doctor does not trust Labcorp, but since Labcorp is the only approved lab with United Health Care, (shame on United Health Care) he ordered a second test.  In the meantime, he has sent me to numerous other MRI appointments and the like looking for tumors, all at the cost of my insurance company.  Last night, I got the results and the second test was negative for HTLV.  I am grateful that I don’t have HTLV, [if I can trust their second test]; but I wonder if there is someone else out there who does… and does not know. I question Labcorp’s  laboratory process and wonder if they got the blood mixed up otc viagra substitutes. Is it possible that there is a person out there who is positive for HTLV and is unknowingly spreading this death sentence virus to others?  Labcorp is incompetent.

I agree with you… Labcorp sucks!

Joan

New York, NY

HTLV Virus ProgressionHere’s information about this dreadful disease and how devastating it is. Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-I) causes adult T-cell leukemia in about 2.5% of those persons infected with the virus. The time between acquiring the infection with HTLV-1 and developing disease is thought to be 30-50 years. HTLV-1 also can cause a neurological disease called HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis in about 5% of those infected. This is an illness that affects the spinal cord and white matter of the central nervous system. Manifestations include difficulty walking and weakness and stiffness of the lower extremities more than the upper extremities. Bowel and bladder control may be lost. A number of other disorders have been associated with HTLV-1 including inflammation of the joints or eyes. HTLV-I is endemic in Japan, the Caribbean, New Guinea and parts of Central Africa. Prevalence is highest in southwest Japan. It is not common in the United States.

Human T-lymphotropic virus type 2 (HTLV-II) may cause neurodegenerative disease such as myelopathy, and it may be associated with hematological malignancies but the association between the virus and these diseases is weak. The virus is endemic in Native Americans in South, Central, and North America.

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Enzyme immunoassay screening of serum, with confirmation by type specific western blot, immunofluorescent assay or polymerase chain reaction can be used to determine carrier status and help in confirmation of either HTLV-I or HTLV-II disease. Specific pathological conditions must be present for disease diagnosis.

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Reader's Comments

  1. |

    I was sent a paperwork by a blood donor place stating that I am HTLV 1/2,,,, positive. I am completely confused about it, I have never heard of that before. Is that a dead sentence like HIV? Is there any chance that the blood test might a false positive?

  2. |

    Carmen,

    First you should take the letter to your physicain for him/her to confirm that this is indeed a valid test result. There is always a possibility that the lab made an error in testing.

    Your doctor can give you more information on the diagnosis once he/she determines if this is indeed the case.

    Should you have that diagnosis, my company is currently looking for patients who are confirmed positive for HTLV to donate plasma which helps others. Feel free to check out the site http://www.accessclinical.com

  3. |

    I just received a “false positive” result for HTLV. The tests were conducted by The American Red Cross. Very nerve-racking.

  4. |

    In the summer of 2010 i had donated blood at work to the American Red Cross. A week later i was on vacation (having an awesome time) and i got a call from a number i didnt recognize but i answered it anyway. It was someone from the red cross or Labcorp i cant really remember but they said i quote, “U can no longer donate with us because your recent donation came back with a non-cureable virus we found in your blood test.” in my head everything went blank. my stomach turned to knots and my heart was ponding. Second day on vacation and i have 5 more days to go. Worste vacation ever because of that phone call. but i asked the lady on the phone and said “so what do i need to do?” the lady replies “seek medical attention as soon as possible” at that point i was ready to get off the phone and did so. A test was done by my doctor and everything came back fine. I was so nervouse still i had 2 more test done with different places and again it came back fine. But i will be damned if i am approched again like that by someone! the way they said it sounded like i was gonna die anytime. I was a nervous reck. couldnt sleep, lost my appetite, and was extremely moody. I wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out. So maybe labcorp needs to re-check the bad tests they get back. and ya know it really makes me wonder that if they can test a good vile of blood and it comes out bad with false results, then have they tested bad blood that came out as good blood? the other sad thing is that this didnt just happen a few times…..its still happening today to people all the time! Rediculous. Get your crap right. or at least inform people that you have had a lot of false positives and it wouldnt hurt to get it re-checked.



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