Professor Dudd? Seriously ppl do you still believe this flawed narrative? – Mick Raven
Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital has revealed its pathology service incorrectly messaged 400 people to tell them they had tested negative to COVID-19 — when they had in fact tested positive.
- The impacted results were from swabs taken on December 22 and 23
- SydPath is servicing a number of COVID testing sites, including Bondi’s drive-through clinic
- The Health Minister says between 130,000 to 160,000 tests a day are being done
The laboratory’s medical director, Professor Anthony Dodds, blamed the mistake on the “large volume of tests” they were processing.
Those affected were notified of their result, for swabs taken from December 22 and December 23, on Christmas Day at 8pm.
Professor Dodds said they had become aware of the mistake on Sunday morning.
“These people had tested positive to COVID,” he said.
“As soon we became aware of the issue this morning, SydPath immediately commenced a process to contact impacted people.
“We sincerely apologise to all those impacted.”
Professor Dodds says they became aware of the mistake this morning.
SydPath is providing its pathology service to a number of COVID testing clinics across the state, including the Bondi drive-through site.
A 34-year-old man who attended the popular eastern suburbs facility on Wednesday, December 22 was among those who received a negative result on Christmas Day.
He told the ABC that in the days after getting tested he had started to feel worse.
On Saturday night, he took himself to St Vincent’s Hospital to “get some clarification” because he knew something was not right despite being told by his GP to trust the PCR testing.
“I said, ‘I also trust myself, I’m unwell because every symptom I’ve had is COVID … the PCR test must be wrong’,” he told his doctor.
At the hospital he tested positive to a rapid antigen test and was put in the COVID ward.
He said it was a bit weird and frustrating to then get the message from SydPath on Sunday.
“I think it was quite frustrating, in the sense that one, it took 85 hours firstly to get the negative test result.
“And then me having to call a GP and go to the hospital to try and clarify what is wrong with me.”
He has now received two conflicting messages from SydPath about why the mistake happened — one puts it down to a laboratory error while the other says it was clerical.
A 34-year-old man who got tested at the Bondi drive-thoug clinic was among those affected.(ABC News)
Professor Dodds said the mistake was possibly a result of “human error” and was currently being investigated by their emergency response team.
He said no-one in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race was “believed to be caught up in these impacted people.”
The error comes as testing services around NSW struggle with high demand, with many people having reported being turned away at testing clinics due to full capacity.
The seven-day average for COVID-19 tests has been around 145,000 swabs a day.
The previous week’s average was 117,000.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said many unnecessary swabs — which he has branded “tourism testing” — were causing enormous backlogs for pathology services.
“We’re now getting something in the order of 130,000 to 160,000 tests a day, and that on the face of it sounds good, but then we need to consider why are people being tested and why are we putting the stressors on our pathology system,” Mr Hazzard said.
He also said PCR test results were now taking between 48 and 72 hours to return a result, with many taking more than three days.
“If you have a PCR test on day one and when you’re getting your results within, say, 12 hours to 24 hours, well, it was valid.
“But if you’re not getting results until three or four days it may well be that you have developed a positivity or positive viral response anyway and you wouldn’t know it.”
Mr Hazzard and Premier Dominic Perrottet have been working with other states and territories to help lighten the testing load on NSW.
On Sunday, South Australia scrapped the pre-arrival testing requirement for interstate travellers, instead asking them to take a rapid antigen test (RAT).
From January 1, Queensland is also set to accept RAT results.
– RAT results? says a lot doesn’t it ppl – Mick Raven