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Can medical tests produce false results?

| Mar 13, 2019 | Failure to Diagnose

You put a lot of trust in your doctor and other medical providers when you go to them looking for answers to your health problems. Many times as part of the diagnosis process, you will undergo testing. You probably also place a lot of faith in these tests and that they will accurately assist with your diagnosis. However, you may find that this is not always the case when you get a medical test in New York.

There is always the probability of a false negative or false positive, according to Towards Data Science. A false negative is when a test says you do not have a disease or condition when you actually do. A false positive is when the test says you have a disease or condition when you do not. Both are terrible situations that can have emotional, psychological and physical repercussions.

A false negative is especially alarming since it may lead to a missed diagnosis of a serious condition for which you need immediate medical care. For example, a false negative test for cancer means you will probably go without treatment that could help to keep you from experiencing more severe symptoms and growth of your tumor.

A false negative may occur if there are errors in the collection process or with the handling and processing of your specimen. Human errors cause many issues. Someone not properly trained to run a machine could get false negative results. They could mix up specimens or do a test incorrectly.

The best way to reduce false negatives is for your doctor to conduct additional testing and not rely on just one test. You should have multiple tests, along with a physical exam to help a doctor find multiple pieces of evidence to back up a diagnosis. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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