Lab recalls erroneous test results in perhaps the largest test recall in 20 years

Quest Diagnostics, the largest medical laboratory company in the U.S., has acknowledged that it has provided possibly erroneous lab results to thousands of people prompting what some consider to be the largest patient test recall in the last 20 years. The erroneous results occurred when Quest was testing people’s vitamin D levels. The errors consist primarily of overly-high test results although lower-than-actual levels were also recorded. The erroneously high result may have resulted in patients not receiving vitamin D supplements when they should have. Overly-low test results carry a potentially much more serious consequence; in rare instances, if patients were wrongfully prescribed supplements, the dosing error could lead to a toxic overdose of vitamin D, resulting in serious injury or death. The company issued letters to thousands of doctors, listing the names of patients who may have received the erroneous results and offering free retesting to those individuals. Quest Diagnostic says that they have identified and fixed the problem that lead to these errors.

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