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12-14-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
Mountaingem
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I cannot believe a lab is allowed to do this...rant ahead

I am so fed up and frustrated right now! I've been in a terrible flare for several months, causing an anal fistula to open and get infected. The doctor put me on antibiotics Cipro and Flagyl and had to send a stool sample to the lab. Well, they threw it out without doing the test yet again!! And they send my GI a message saying it came back negative!!! $#@%&* HMO's!!!

I don't understand how they get away with this. Some idiot thought it didn't look "watery" enough to be c. diff so they tossed it. Said it was standard procedure, WTH? It's standard procedure to not even do one of the three tests that is required to diagnose c. diff?

So here I am two weeks later, infection and fistula healed up great, but I am having diarrhea 3-6 times a day, in addition to whenever I eat, so weak I have a hard time showering, chills, and I feel so confused all the time, which is normal for some people but not me...I had a hard time even remembering how to drive my car. I took a short trip to the store with hubby just to get out of the house and almost passed out...what do I do? Seriously, my GI will in all likelihood order another stool test but what is the *&#@$ point???

This is so depressing I'm crying as I type this. Like I haven't tried hard enough to get better, only to be roadblocked by some moron who took a 9 month course to be a lab tech!

Please guys, any help, suggestions or encouragement are MUCH needed...thanks for reading my rant.
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12-14-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
tiloah
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OH MY STARS! I am LIVID that they did this too you! "not watery" enough to be C. diff!!!!!!????? That makes no effing sense! AAGUGUGHG. I can't even imagine how frustrated you must be right now, because I know how frustrated I am and it's not even happening to me. Somebody should be FIRED for doing that. That is NOT acceptable. Stool samples are such a pain to get to the lab. He or she probably just didn't run the test in time so threw it out and made up an excuse. UGH. This makes me so mad!

I am so so so sorry this is happening right now. I hope they figure out what's going on and are able to treat you well and get you feeling better. I've been where you are and I wouldn't be surprised if you do have C. diff.
12-14-2011, 04:52 PM   #3
Cat-a-Tonic
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Jeannette, that's horrible! What's the point of even doing a stool sample if they won't bother to test it? Do you know which lab is responsible for this? If so, can you call them or write a letter (maybe address it to the supervisor of the tech in question or call and ask to speak to the supervisor) explaining how ill you are and how frustrating this situation is? It's just so wrong that they did this! I'm so sorry, I wish I could say something that would make you feel better. This just sucks. Are there do-it-yourself-at-home kits for c diff testing? I know I've seen tests at Walgreens for fecal occult blood so who knows, maybe on the internet or something you could find one for c diff and just test it yourself? I'm just throwing out guesses now. I hope that this situation gets remedied somehow and you can get back to feeling better again. Sending you a great big hug!
12-14-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
Mountaingem
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Cat, I had to do some hunting by I tracked down the lab, and the lab tech I spoke to was the one that ADMITTED they never test c. diff unless it visually meets their expectations. Then I lost my temper, became a smartass and said "Really, has Kaiser hired some mutant techs that are able to visually see bacteria with the naked eye?" I could not seem to reach a supervisor, so my hubby's gonna look more into it when he gets home. I quite honestly don't have the strength to fight them today, but I like your suggestion, and will definitely follow up. My husband thinks I should write everything in letters for a paper trail because he's seriously thinking of contacting a lawyer.
12-14-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
DustyKat
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WTF is right Jeannette, this really sucks! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

Is there no other lab they can use?

I don't understand either how they can just ignore what a doctor has ordered and do what they like! Unbelievable!

God I hope they can get this sorted soon so you can get some relief! Sending loads of love, wishes and hugs...


Dusty. xxx
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12-14-2011, 05:21 PM   #6
Mountaingem
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It seems they ship their specimens to two mega labs here in the Los Angeles area. I'm waiting for a callback from my GI, who I expect will have a nuclear meltdown when he hears this-thank God he advocates for his patients!

Thanks for all the hugs and support-you guys are the best!
12-14-2011, 05:25 PM   #7
DustyKat
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Phew, that is so good to hear about your GI! YAY! Let the meltdown begin!

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12-14-2011, 06:30 PM   #8
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It seems they ship their specimens to two mega labs here in the Los Angeles area. I'm waiting for a callback from my GI, who I expect will have a nuclear meltdown when he hears this-thank God he advocates for his patients!

Thanks for all the hugs and support-you guys are the best!
So glad someone is in your corner! That is not the techs job to do this. My step daughter is a lab tech in a hospital, Candian tho but I am gonna ask her about this.
12-14-2011, 07:32 PM   #9
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Well at least the Doc is on your side but man that sucks. I would be just as p*ssed as you are!
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12-14-2011, 09:03 PM   #10
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J., that's nuts!!!!!

That's all I have to say.
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12-14-2011, 09:50 PM   #11
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Oh Mountaingem I have no words honey!!!! I have tears for you right now. How frustrating it is when you are doing ALL you can and it is not enough! And then on top of everything that's not enough....you don't FEEL WELL!!! I've been flaring myself dear...down to one meal a day if I'm lucky it will stay down...I don't know it most likely will get worse before better. Just keep taking it one day at a time and coming to safe places like this forum for the much needed support you require right now.

Huggs!!!!! xoxo
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12-15-2011, 01:57 PM   #12
Mountaingem
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Well, Day 2 and so far no word from the GI...
12-15-2011, 03:59 PM   #13
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OMG!!!! Over here in the UK we have PALS - patient advice and liaison service. We go to these people if we have a complaint about treatment (or lack of) we have received or we are not happy on how long we are waiting to have tests done or appts come through etc. Do you have anything like this? To not do a test because the poop looks too solid!!! How dangerous is that! And to have the nerve to then give a negative result for a test they didn't do - it's sickening I am so sorry you have had this experience and I really hope you hear something from your GI soon.
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12-15-2011, 09:20 PM   #14
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That is utterly insane. I hope your GI goes off on them!!
12-15-2011, 09:45 PM   #15
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The lab tests aside, when I start getting shaky/chills/ have to sit to have a shower is when my hubby starts carrying me into ER as this is not normal for me either - so I am a little concerned that on top of everything else you are starting to get fairly dehydrated.....

If it were me and I didn't recieve a call by tomorrow moringing, I'd be going to ER (if you can) and getting some other tests done as well - and maybe a liter or two of IV fluids!!!

As for the lab techs, that is just so moronic I don't even have words for it - f(*^(*& idiots....

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12-15-2011, 11:39 PM   #16
Mountaingem
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I finally talked to the doctor, who checked out the issue with the lab. Come to find out, they were trying to cover that they LOST my test results altogether and were trying to cover it up!!!

So tonight I had to go out and yet again get another specimen collection kit, and more blood tests. So far only the ESR results are back, and its at 8 so that's elevated for me but probably no big deal. The ladies that work at the lab I go to for blood draw told me off the record which lab does the c. diff testing and they are known for just throwing specimens out if they get bogged down.

The problem is, it's the only Kaiser lab in So Cal that test for C.diff and other bowel infections and so this specimen will have to go back to the same inept lab.(YES you read that right).

I am trying to figure out what I can do. How can I compel them to actually do their job? Should I try to get a patient advocate? File a complaint with the insurance company or someone else? I am too sick to even fight with these @#$% people.

Thank you so much for your kind words and support everyone; I am at my wits end and you guys are so much encouragement!
12-16-2011, 01:00 AM   #17
kllyeve
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I am a Medical Laboratory Technologist in Alberta Canada, I am MORTIFIED and APPALLED that your specimen was thrown out or results lost.

Find out which regulatory body is in charge of that lab and report them - the American Medical Technologist Society has a society in Claifornia - I googled american lab society to find them - they would at least be a start to report on the lab and the actual person responsible. The Society would be responsible for investigating and disciplining the person if they are a member of that society. US has several regulatory bodies, so you may have to track them down.

Also find out who accredited the lab - was it the American College of Physicians and Surgeons? If you report them to the acrediting body - that body also would have to investigate.

Also see if you can get your GI to write a complaint as DR's - as primary clients of labs- have alot of pull when they complain.

I am so sorry!!! Most lab personel, at least in Canada, are in it for the patient but I do understand it can be different in the profit driven medical business in the States.

Also have your sample labelled "stat" or "rush" so it should get moved to the front of the line and possible avoid the "lost" or "too old to test" thing again.

God I am just mortified!!
12-16-2011, 02:13 AM   #18
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Jeanette, I would suggest calling your insurance company. I bet they somehow still managed to bill them for their "service".

I an so sorry you are having to deal with this!
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12-16-2011, 04:32 AM   #19
tiloah
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I finally talked to the doctor, who checked out the issue with the lab. Come to find out, they were trying to cover that they LOST my test results altogether and were trying to cover it up!!!
I figured it was something like that. It just seemed like such a bull**** excuse.

Anyway I hope that inept lab gets their **** together and actually gets you results. You don't deserve to be sick and lose even more precious time just because they are understaffed or underequipped. As DougUte said, I bet they had time to bill your insurance for their non-results. *rolls eyes*

I really hope you get the results and the help you need soon. I know what it's like to not have the strength, energy, or motivation to keep fighting. Good luck.
12-16-2011, 05:30 AM   #20
DustyKat
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I don't know your system there...

Would getting the specimen marked urgent make a difference?

Dusty. xxx
12-16-2011, 03:59 PM   #21
Mountaingem
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Thanks kllyeve-I'm definitely going to file a complaint, this is so unacceptable. Thank you for the info-I didn't have any idea where to start looking, you're awesome!

@Doug-I will check and see if my insurance was billed for it; if they think they're being charged for testing that isn't being done, that ought to put a fire under that lab!

@diesanduhr-I must be so naive, I just took what they said at face value-well, lesson learned.

@Dusty-Here in the U.S. they mark it STAT and all c. diff tests are supposed to be marked as such, but with this lab, I'm taking a page from diesanduhr and just expect that they are covering up.
12-16-2011, 04:12 PM   #22
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I am so sorry to hear what you have gone through. That is so horrible.

I was wondering though...if you go to the ER can they test you for C Diff there in the hospital. Most hospitals have their own labs. It might cost you more but I look at it like a loop hole to avoid the mail in labs.
12-16-2011, 04:50 PM   #23
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Yes JavaJay, that's my plan B-the only reason I haven't gone yet is the hefty deductable I have to pay for ER visits
12-16-2011, 05:36 PM   #24
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@diesanduhr-I must be so naive, I just took what they said at face value-well, lesson learned.
Not at all! I am just too cynical for my own good!
12-16-2011, 06:56 PM   #25
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I have just read your post and it makes me so angry. I also work in a lab in a uk hospital and if I found out anybody had thrown away a specimen because they had to much work they would face my wrath. I hate it when people make excuses for not being bothered to do the work as I always try and do things as quickly and as best I can as I have aswell been the one waiting for results.
Hope they give you some answers soon and you can feel better x
12-22-2011, 02:25 PM   #26
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Well to update:the threw it out again! I am slowly getting better, started using Canasa and the diarrhea stopped. My theory is I had a stomach bug that might have triggered a flare. But my GI still won't give me pred or up Remicade until I'm cleared of infection, so we'll see what happens. I'm too sick to fight, gonna turn my hubby David loose on them.
12-22-2011, 03:27 PM   #27
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WTF!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I am gobsmacked that they are allowed to do that! Once is bad enough but twice is....Arrrrrrrrrrgh!

Thank goodness you are starting to get on the better end of things, no help to the lab. I hope it continues to move in a positive direction hun...

Dusty. xxx
12-22-2011, 04:00 PM   #28
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Well to update:the threw it out again! I am slowly getting better, started using Canasa and the diarrhea stopped. My theory is I had a stomach bug that might have triggered a flare. But my GI still won't give me pred or up Remicade until I'm cleared of infection, so we'll see what happens. I'm too sick to fight, gonna turn my hubby David loose on them.
Ok, seriously, where are my brass knuckles...
01-01-2012, 04:20 PM   #29
Mountaingem
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Thanks for the support guys-Just to update: I visited the GI doctor on December 29, and was immdediately admitted to the hospital. Turns out I DO have c.diff after all-but the only way I could get them to test it was to actually be in the hospital, with a doctor who walked the specimen over and insisted they test it.

Chest x ray shows I also have a lung infection that is contagious, apparently opportunistic since I am so run down from untreated c.diff. The upside to this is that the CAT scan turned out really good-Crohn's is in remission.

I was released today, after 8 grams of Dilaudid, two IV bags of Flagyl, one IV of Avelox and Cipro, and six bags of fluids. When I feel better someone's gonna get the wrath!
01-01-2012, 04:27 PM   #30
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Kick some ass!!! Someone needs to be fired for this at least. Glad you are FINALLY getting the treatment you need, hope you feel better soon
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