1,200 people may need new lab tests
AIDS results could have been botched
By Barbara Walsh
About 1,200 Broward residents may have been tested improperly for health
problems ranging from AIDS to diabetes.
County health officials say a Hollywood laboratory may have botched as many
as one-third of the original test results of patients at three public clinics
in the past seven months.
The county's greatest fear is that patients infected with the HIV virus may
have received a clean bill of health through inaccurate lab work by Hollywood
"It is (a matter of) life and death," said Carolyn Graham, Broward's human
services director. "We are committed to straightening this out."
A lab official said the county's fears are unfounded.
"We're no different from any other lab. Any lab is going to have a little
bit of problems," said Pedro Rodriguez of Hollywood Diagnostics.
On Wednesday, the lab canceled its county contract in the middle of a
Sun Sentinel investigation of the controversy.
Broward health officials have since contracted with two new labs.
On Monday, health workers will begin reviewing about 1,200 patient files
to pinpoint those people with medical problems requiring additional testing.
At least half of the 1,200 patients were tested for the human immuno-deficiency
virus, the precursor to AIDS, county health officials told the Sun Sentinel.
"I don't want to alarm the residents," Graham said. "But we will be in touch
with these patients and ask them to come in for further testing. I will be honest
and tell them that we've had some problems with the lab that we have been using."
The testing problems came to a head when a Fort Lauderdale woman found she
had been falsely diagnosed as HIV-positive after being tested last July at the
Edgar P. Mills Multi-Pur....
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