Winnipeg woman's cancer treatment delayed due to misplaced COVID-19 test result
A Winnipeg woman's treatment at Cancer Care Manitoba was delayed after her COVID-19 test results were misplaced due to a data error.
It's been a tough week for Tammy Casper and her family.
While most people were getting ready to celebrate the holiday season, she was coming to terms with a troubling diagnosis.
"I'm 45, and I got cancer. And you're trying to digest that, and then you get COVID-19."
Casper was diagnosed with leukemia in early December, and catching COVID-19 the next week added some challenges surrounding her treatment of the disease.
She said even though she'd already tested positive, she had to get another COVID-19 test done so Cancer Care Manitoba could assess her levels to see if she was contagious. After taking her new test, the results never came back.
"I heard nothing over the weekend. I heard nothing at the beginning of the week. Cancer Care is going 'okay, well we need you in here on (Jan. 13), but we've got nothing to go on.'"
Casper said after five days, she called Health Links to find the test results she'd never received.
After days of calling, she was informed that her test had been placed in a different filing system for people whose health information had an error.
"I'm on the top of my health card, and my husband is under me," Explained Casper.
"(The testing site) put my husband's birthdate with my information, so my test sat there as a positive test in limbo without me being contacted."
On Wednesday, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced two new COVID-19 testing sites were opening up in Winnipeg to address the backlog of test results.
"We're able to report today that we have no backlog and that results are being provided in under a day," said Gordon.
But Casper wonders how many others have had their test results shelved due to an error.
She was able to go to Cancer Care and get some initial tests done as a COVID-19 suspect patient in isolation. However, she's still waiting to hear back from an infectious disease specialist to see if she's contagious before she can have normal access to Cancer Care.
"I want to get this going, I have a treatable leukemia, and I want to get it going so that it doesn't get to the point where it's not treatable anymore."
In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for Cancer Care Manitoba (CCMB) said “Patients receiving treatment at CCMB are not generally tested prior to their appointment, although testing will be arranged if they are symptomatic. Patients requiring admission to hospital are tested upon admission, not in advance.”
The story has been updated to include more from Cancer Care Manitoba's statement.
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