Nova Scotia

Lab failure forces 100s to be retested at Truro hospital

Hundreds of patients at the Colchester Regional Hospital may need to have tests redone after a laboratory chemistry analyzer malfunctioned last week.

Health authority in central Nova Scotia cites inaccurate test results

Hundreds of patients at Colchester Regional Hospital in Truro may need to have tests redone after a laboratory chemistry analyzer malfunctioned last week.

The Colchester East Hants Health Authority says one of two machines wasn't working properly between June 4 and 6.

The equipment is used to measure blood glucose, creatinine, calcium and bilirubin levels.

The health authority says 363 patients may be affected.

"While the malfunction may have resulted in only a small number of inaccurate results, the fact is we can't be certain about results for this period of time," Dr. Manoj Vohra, vice-president of medicine, said in a release Tuesday.

"We are erring on this side of caution. We are sorry this has happened."

The release said the machine is supposed to create pockets with plasma and reagents, but the malfunction meant some of the pockets leaked.

The health authority says a technician identified the problem and fixed it on June 6. The machine was back in service the next day.

The health authority is sending all patients a letter informing them of the possible errors in their results. Patients will receive a copy of their results.

The health authority suggests they follow up with their doctor to see if a second test is necessary.