'Human Error' Caused Incorrect COVID-19 Diagnosis of Jurong West Secondary Student, TTSH Apologises

'Human Error' Caused Incorrect COVID-19 Diagnosis of Jurong West Secondary Student, TTSH Apologises

"We are sorry for the mistake and sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our patients and her school," TTSH said.

A student from Jurong West Secondary School was incorrectly diagnosed with COVID-19 after Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) mislabelled testing samples. 

Misdiagnosis Caused by “Human error” in Laboratory

In a statement by TTSH on Tuesday (14 July), it said the incorrect diagnosis was due to a “human error” in its laboratory. 

“Our investigations revealed that there was an erroneous reporting of this case by our laboratory. This arose from a human error in the laboratory where two patients had their specimens cross-labelled.”

The misdiagnosed student is a Secondary 1 female student from Jurong West Secondary School who reportedly tested positive for coronavirus last Friday (10 July). 

'Human Error' Caused Incorrect COVID-19 Diagnosis of Jurong West Secondary Student, TTSH Apologises

The 13-year-old female Jurong West Secondary Student reportedly tested positive for coronavirus last Friday (10 July). | Photo: Facebook/Ong Ye Kung

The 13-year-old girl who was admitted to NUH is said to be linked to a previously confirmed COVID-19 case, a 13-year-old boy from the same school.

Secondary 1 Girl Discharged After Re-tested Negative Twice

According to The Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release (14 Jul), the 13-year-old girl has been isolated since the incident and has not been in contact with any other COVID-19 patients. 

TTSH also said that the student is “otherwise well and has been discharged” after being re-tested twice and found to be negative on both occasions. 

Apart from the student, the rest of the close contacts who had been placed on quarantine (following the first confirmed case in the school) were also tested negative for COVID-19. 

Thus, there is no second confirmed case or student-to-student transmission in Jurong West Secondary School.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung shared that despite the reporting “mistake”, attendance rates at Jurong West Secondary School remains high at over 90%. 

'Human Error' Caused Incorrect COVID-19 Diagnosis of Jurong West Secondary Student, TTSH Apologises

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung’s post on the incorrect diagnosis of the Jurong West Secondary School student with COVID-19 | Image source: Facebook/Ong Ye Kung

 

“Students, parents and teachers have adapted well to all our precautionary measures – calmly and with resolve to minimise disruptions to learning,” he added.

According to him, schools will continue to roll out the necessary safe management measures to keep students and staff safe.

These are said to be beyond existing safety management measures to protect the safety of students and staff, minimise the risk of transmission as well as prevent the development of school-based clusters.

'Human Error' Caused Incorrect COVID-19 Diagnosis of Jurong West Secondary Student, TTSH Apologises

Photo: iStock

For the mislabelling error, TTSH has also apologised: “We are sorry for the mistake and sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our patients and her school.”

Mislabelled Positive Sample Belongs to Migrant Worker

On the other hand, the mislabelled positive sample belongs to a migrant worker according to MOH, who was informed of the error by TTSH on Monday (13 July). 

The patient who was in isolation has since been admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and remains stable

Following the incident, TTSH said that they have informed both patients of the mislabelling incident and apologised for the anxiety caused.

“We have audited our laboratory testing for COVID-19 for that period and no other mislabelling was discovered. We have also put in place additional checks to prevent such an incident from occurring again.”

You can read TTSH’s full post here:

Lead image via Facebook/Ong Ye Kung.

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'Human Error' Caused Incorrect COVID-19 Diagnosis of Jurong West Secondary Student, TTSH Apologises

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Written by

Jia Ling

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