Can a Maryland COVID-19 Test Report a False Negative?

Testing for COVID-19 has ramped up in recent months. While initially, tests were hard to come by, today most Maryland pharmacies are conducting tests, making them widely available. However, the surge in testing has resulted in a corresponding increase in the number of experts who are concerned that tests are providing people with false-negative results. Given the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, false negatives have the potential to cause a resurgence in the virus, putting everyone at risk.

According to a recent news report, 12 people who were tested at a Walgreen’s pharmacy were initially told that they were negative for COVID-19, only to learn later that was not the case. Evidently, the erroneous results came out of Delaware, where the local government had an agreement with Walgreen’s. In all, Walgreen’s collected over 2,900 samples at drive-up testing sites.

The tests appeared to be accurate, and the problem was not with the reliability of the test. In fact, the state Department of Health reviewed each of the Walgreen’s tests for accuracy and confirmed that “no patients who tested negative were given incorrect results.” However, 12 patients were called and told that they tested negative when, in fact, they had tested positive. The report notes that the error did not occur at the local Walgreen’s stores, implying that the lab may have been responsible for the errors.

One of the people who received a false negative ended up at the hospital with serious symptoms. Both the patient and medical professionals were confused as to what could have been the problem, relying in part on the negative COVID-19 test result.

Pharmacy Errors Are Not Uncommon

The COVID-19 false negatives discussed above highlight the importance of being on the lookout for all types of Maryland pharmacy errors. Pharmacists, lab technicians, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are human, and will occasionally make mistakes. To the extent that a pharmacy relies on technology, there can be programing mistakes or errors in an algorithm.

Even patients who are extremely diligent and careful may not catch all pharmacy errors. For example, it would have been impossible for any of the 12 people who received false-negative test results to know the results were incorrect.

After a Maryland pharmacy error, those who suffered as a result may be able to hold the pharmacy liable. However, these cases can prove to be extremely complex, as they often require expert witnesses to explain complex scientific and medical concepts. Thus, pharmacy error and medical malpractice cases are best handled by an attorney who has extensive experience in the field.

Contact a Maryland Pharmacy Error Lawyer Today

If you have been the victim of a pharmacy error, contact the dedicated injury advocates at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have assembled a dedicated team of Maryland medical malpractice lawyers to evaluate and skillfully handle all our client’s pharmacy error claims. With a track record of success over the past 20 years, you can trust Lebowitz & Mzhen to handle your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today, call 800-654-1949 today. You can also connect with us through our online form.

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