Good labs (results) are hard to find…

So Teri’s been off the study drugs for about 3 weeks now. Was originally supposed to be 3 weeks on, 1 week off, but she had to stop the first run a week early because of the effect it was having on her. They were going to start the second run with a lower dose with the hope that she’d be able to better handle it, but her white cell and neutrophil counts were too low to start back. They wanted to see if she could recover without something like neupogen shots because she doesn’t tend to handle those well, and would test again this week.

She had a blood test yesterday morning early, but we were certain that the test was done wrong. Yesterday’s blood test, a stat order, we think was left sitting for about 6 hours before they actually ran it. We hadn’t heard from the nurses, so Teri called around 3pm and the nurses called to the lab to see where the results were. They hadn’t run them yet, they suddenly sounded panicked and said “you’ll have them within the hour”. The results came back with her neutrophils dropping from 1.2 to 0.2 (2.0 is the low end of “normal”) and they said she was at super high risk for infection. They also said there was some clotting in the blood, and we believed both of those things to be related to how the lab appeared to mishandle the blood sample. The study nurses agreed, and Teri went to a different lab for another test today. This isn’t rocket science, you have a stat order, that means you do it, right?

We have concerns about how that one was handled as well, as the listed “received” at 11:40am when she was there at 9am. Found that out when the nurses called over to find where the stat order was and the lab said it hadn’t been long enough yet. From that, sounded like the sample might have been sitting for a couple of hours as well, but who knows at this point. Anyway, this test had similar numbers with her white cell count tanking, so at the doctor’s insistence she had to go immediately to get some neupogen injections. Hopefully we can get her counts up enough to get back on the meds, or we’ll have to look at doing something different for treatment.

I’m still livid about the labs, though. Two separate times, two different labs, a stat order with a 4-hour commit was ignored, even after it was confirmed with Teri and put in the system for stat handling. Doesn’t seem like it should be that hard. She’ll likely go to the oncology office for the labs tomorrow, as they have a “stat” machine in their lab upstairs so they can process it within an hour and know how things are going.


One thought on “Good labs (results) are hard to find…

  1. Yes, one would think that this would really not be rocket science. Especailly for people who are supposed to know what they are doing earning their living doing this…! 😦


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