Prostate incident low risk, says HSE

by admin

The Health Service Executive (HSE) will retest 162 patients for prostate cancer following the discovery of a fault in the testing kits used at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.
The Siemens immunoassay analysers and reagents were used at the hospital to measure the blood level of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland.
However they were reading between 20% and 23% higher than other similar tests between February and June of this year.
PSA levels may be raised when prostate cancer or benign prostate conditions are detected.
However, the HSE stated: “On average two out of every three men with a raised PSA level will not have prostate cancer, and PSA may be normal even when prostate cancer is present.”
In total, 2,186 patients were tested, and 162 results indicated a need for further investigation as a precautionary measure.
The kits were recalled from the hospital on Friday, June 28, and all future PSA testing were rearranged with Beaumont Hospital.
Follow-up contact is also being arranged with GPs to track patient outcomes.
The HSE stated: “This incident, which is outside the control of the HSE, is considered to be of low clinical risk in relation to long-term negative outcome for patients. However in order to address any potential risk, an incident management team was set up on receipt of the field safety notice.”
The Irish Cancer Society stated they recognise “the concerns and anxieties of the men and their families who have had an abnormal PSA result following the use of the test kits” and “welcomes the review of relevant test results to ensure that all results which were given to patients are accurate”.
Cllr David McGuinness (FF) told the Gazette that he is “delighted” that the fault has been detected in the testing kits.
“I’m delighted that it was flagged properly, but it is very concerning,” he said.
“Perhaps people will be relieved that they don’t have the level of prostate cancer that the readings showed, but equally the hospital will have to liaise closely with families and offer extra support services for those who might have been adversely affected by this news.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Michael O’Donovan (Lab) described the situation as “worrying”.
“I think it’s very worrying. I’m not so concerned about the re-testing because obviously people who get this particular test done would have to go back every six months anyway and have that repeated,” he said.
“All tests are just tests and people need to get further examinations afterwards. I hope that the matter is cleared up as soon as possible, and that there is confidence returned to that whole testing system.”
Anyone who is concerned can contact the Irish Cancer Society’s National Cancer Helpline on Freefone 1800 200 700.

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