Can A False-Negative on a Flu Test Lead to Death?

How an incorrect flu diagnosis could lead to death.

A 15-year-old Georgia girl has become one of many US children to pass away during this year’s brutal flu season. Her story also shows what may happen when patients do not receive an accurate flu diagnosis. However, death can also occur when patients with the flu are not properly diagnosed and treated.

According to the girl’s parents, they had taken her to a clinic after she became sick with flu-like symptoms. Doctors at the clinic tested the girl for the flu, but the results came back negative. Within less than three days, the girl died from liver failure. It was later confirmed she had died from complications caused by influenza A. The corner said it was possible the girl had received a false-negative from a rapid flu test.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned the public that rapid flu tests are accurate only 50 to 70 percent of the time. Rapid tests are the most common type used in hospitals during flu season. Patients can opt to take a comprehensive lab test. While a comprehensive test takes longer, it could produce more accurate results.

Even when flu tests come back negative, doctors are trained to treat patients with flu-like symptoms. Influenza can be fatal if it is not treated.

Harmed by a Misdiagnosis? Call Our Washington DC Medical Malpractice Law Firm

Diagnostic errors are the most common type of medical mistake in the US. Patients who are affected by errors or their surviving family members may have options to recover compensation. However, it would depend on the circumstances.

Were you or a loved one harmed by a diagnostic error? You could call our Washington DC medical malpractice law firm to discover whether you could recover compensation after a misdiagnosis.

For future blog updates, follow the Washington DC medical malpractice lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC on Facebook and Twitter.

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