Eastern, Western, Labrador-Grenfell Health find 6 mammogram patients needing follow-up

·2 min read
The health authorities say they will contact patients with tests who have discrepancies by phone, contact their doctor and send a letter with follow-up information. (Torin Halsey/Times Record News/The Associated Press - image credit)
The health authorities say they will contact patients with tests who have discrepancies by phone, contact their doctor and send a letter with follow-up information. (Torin Halsey/Times Record News/The Associated Press - image credit)

Three of the province's health authorities – Eastern Health, Western Health and Labrador-Grenfell Health – say they have reviewed about 20 per cent of the 10,883 mammograms originally viewed on deficient workstations and six patients require further follow-up.

The health authorities say they will call patients whose breast cancer screening tests show possible discrepancies, contact their doctors, and send patients a letter following up with next steps.

A joint news release late Thursday afternoon, said Eastern Health needs to review 3,665 mammogram tests in total and as of Wednesday has examined 592 files, which do not require any change to the exam report.

Labrador-Grenfell health has 2,092 files to review, and said 376 of them require no change to the test interpretation.

Eric Gaillard/Reuters
Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Western Health has the largest volume of patient files to review at 5,126, and so far sifted though just under 1,400 records in which the results do not need to be changed.

The authorities also said about 860 fewer patients are affected than originally anticipated, so their tests won't have to be reviewed.

In the meantime, the regional health authorities say they have sent letters to patients involved in the review, notifying them about the process. They say patients whose files have been reviewed and do not require changes to the test interpretation will also receive letters by the end of October.

"The number of patients requiring follow-up remains low suggesting this occurrence is a low risk to patients," the news release from all three health authorities said.

In late August, Central Health first notified the public about the testing review. It said for more than three years it had read mammograms on workstations which had three-megapixels of resolution, compared to the Canadian standard five-megapixels.

Early last week Central Health said it reviewed 2,564 patient images and found nine possible errors, by that point.

More than a decade ago the Cameron inquiry found 400 breast cancer patients had been given incorrect hormone receptor test results and failed patients with poor laboratory work and quality control.

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