Nearly 70 patients not told of cardiac disease test results

Crumlin hospital employee suspended

The National Centre for Medical Genetics is based in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Photograph: Frank Miller

The National Centre for Medical Genetics is based in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Photograph: Frank Miller

Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 01:00


Nearly 70 people who were found to be potentially at risk of inherited cardiac disease at the national centre for medical genetics at Our Lady’s hospital in Crumlin were never informed of their results, it has emerged.

A major investigation is under way to establish how this occurred and a member of staff has been suspended.

The hospital said that in all, 506 tests for the inherited cardiac disease carried out between February 2011 and November 2013 were the subject of the current review.

It said last night that in addition to the 69 adults and children who didn’t receive notice of being potentially at risk of cardiac conditions, a further 128 patients with abnormal results had been contacted but the final clinical letter had not yet been issued to the referring doctor. It said this would be sent out shortly.


Suspended from duty
The hospital said 256 patients had a normal result and their files are being reviewed to establish the communications status of their results.

It also said that “the cause of the delay in communicating with patients has been identified and a member of staff has been suspended from duty pending a full investigation”.

It added that the hospital deeply regrets and apologies for the distress that is being caused to patients and their families.

Families or doctors who have concerns can contact a dedicated phone line on 01-409 6751/01-428 2801 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

Crumlin hospital said the national centre for medical genetics was contacting by phone 69 patients “whose abnormal results in a genetic test for inherited cardiac disease were not communicated to them”.

It said the tests were only carried out on patients referred by specialist inherited heart disease clinics. Only patients who had tests to establish if they had a genetic disorder that increased their susceptibility to inherited heart disease had been affected by the delay in communicating their results to them, it said.


Other genetic tests
The hospital said patients who had any other genetic tests at the centre were not affected. It said both adults and children were affected by the delays.

“Following concerns expressed by patients, the hospital was notified of the communication delay by the national centre for medical genetics on 25th November 2013 and an incident management team was established.

“A detailed audit was immediately undertaken.”

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