About once a week, Strand Analytical Laboratories finds an error with a biopsy specimen, including contaminated samples and switched samples. Biopsy errors can result in misdiagnoses, according to a recent report from the Associated Press. And misdiagnoses can not only lead to medical malpractice, but can also lead to painful procedures that aren’t necessary.
Strand, which is located in Indianapolis, was started by former Marion County Prosecutor Scott Newman. Originally, the lab was used to run DNA tests on crime scene evidence. Now, crimes only account for about 10 percent of the company’s work, the article noted. The rest of the work is spent using its Know Errors technology to prevent false positives in cancer biopsies and help doctors avoid operating on patients who don’t need an operation.
The idea for the technology was born after company officials watched a news report about a man in Boston who underwent prostate surgery after his biopsy was switched with that of a man who had cancer. The realization was made at that time that the forensics technology could easily be converted to a clinical setting. The Know Errors system has been used on the breast and prostate biopsies of about 175,000 patients.
Misdiagnoses in prostate biopsies occur about 2.5 percent of the time, the article noted, and one in every 200 patients will receive a misdiagnosis. In all, this adds up to about $879.9 million spent on unnecessary treatments, the majority of which is legal expenditures.
As lawyers with extensive medical malpractice experience, the firm of Wilson Kehoe Winingham is glad to see any technology that will help ensure that patients receive the care that they need, and not have treatments that were meant for someone else. This is what all of us should expect from the doctors who treat us. However, errors still occur and, when they do, the damages can be life changing. If you’ve suffered because of a medical mistake, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. For more information, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham.