An Irish hospital has started a review of thousands of BRCA cancer gene tests after a woman was wrongly told that she did not have the gene.
The woman attended Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin for a blood test in 2009. The sample was then sent to a British hospital who gave a positive result for the presence of a BRCA gene, which means the patient has a much higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.
It informed Out Lady’s hospital but the result was not passed on to the patient, who later went on to develop ovarian cancer and is now described as being extremely ill.
The hospital has apologised and said it was considered to be an ‘isolated incident caused by human error’ and has undertaken a review of 3,500 tests as a precautionary measure.
The woman’s legal team are now seeking an independent review of the matter.
In a statement to BBC News, the Children’s Hospital Group said: “We apologise to the woman at the centre of this transcription error and regret the series of events that led to her current difficult situation. All facts in this incident currently point to the fact that a transcription error of a genetic test result occurred. This is currently considered to be an isolated incident caused by human error.
“As a precautionary measure, a review by Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, is currently underway of all transcriptions of BRACA tests to ensure tests results were transcribed correctly and that no similar transcription error has occurred.
“We want to offer reassurance to other patients who have undergone testing that this is not a testing error and therefore there is no cause for concern or distress.”