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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:

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.

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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.

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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