THE VITAMIN B12 AND FOLATE PATHOLOGY INVESTIGATION
THE INVESTIGATION OF ERRORS IN PATHOLOGY TESTS
FOR VITAMIN B12 AND FOLATE DEFICIENCY
BY MEANS OF MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS
THE HOMOCYSTEINE INVESTIGATION
HCY ERRORS
Summary
Laboratory Performance
RPAH
Interpretation Errors
Immunoassays

Index

This page contains the following sections:

You can go to a section by selecting the link.

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Introduction

Here you will find my specific claims about what I consider to be the poor performance by Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney South West Area Health Service (RPAH)

For the issue raised, I explain:

  • What Went Wrong
  • Why it Matters

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RPAH - "Loss" of All 29 Samples

Summary of What Went Wrong

I found that Sydney South West Area Health Service (SSWAHS) at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney (RPAH) analyse total homocysteine using a different method to the other three labs.

Whereas SNP and PaLMS use immunoassay, and Westmead uses MS/MS, RPAH uses HPLC, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography. I suspected that the immunoassays might have been interfered with by antibodies in my blood, so comparing results from HPLC with the Immunoassay methods and MS/MS could have answered that question.

I arranged with Dr JW at RPAH for my remaining samples to be analysed for MMA. On 10 January 2007, I confirmed the arrangement with Dr JW. I could not have made the importance of those samples any clearer; this is what I said in my Email:

On 16 January I received an Email from Dr JW, in which he said:

Dr JW called me on 31 January and told me that all 29 of my samples had been "lost" on 17 January. He told me that the samples had arrived at Sample Reception on 16 January and were stored overnight in a freezer. They were then left out for the courier and have not been seen since.

On 1 February, JP told me what had happened to the samples:

"They vanished into thin air"

I called the office of Mr WT, the business manager of SSWAHS, on 2 February, and left a message for him to call me. He never returned my call.

I called NATA and, on Monday 5 February, sent them an Email in which I asked:

I then sent an Email to Mr WT, on 5 February, in which I asked:

I have not received a reply to that message, or any other communication of any sort, from RPAH since then.

Mr V , Assistant Quality Manager at NATA responded to my Email to NATA. I called Mr V on 7 February, and we agreed that my Email should be treated as a formal complaint about the "loss" of my 29 blood samples. I then followed-up with an Email, with all of my evidence attached to it, to Mr V on the same day.

I have not heard anything from NATA since then.

There are two questions that must be answered by RPAH:

  • How did RPAH manage to "lose" all 29 of my blood samples?
  • Why did it take two weeks, and my initiation of the contact, for them to tell me?

Why it Matters

The "loss" of the samples ended my investigations for this first series.

The samples were actually required for further testing by other labs. The "loss" of the samples prevented further testing, as follows:

  • Re-testing homocysteine by Westmead to investigate anomalies in results by SNP and PaLMS
  • Homocysteine by Mayo Medical Laboratories
  • Serum Vitamin B12, so preventing investigation of the anomaly in the reported SNP results

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