An Independence grandmother says she wrongly tested positive for methamphetamine at Truman Medical Center, and that the hospital refuses to remove the test results from her records.
The 62-year-old Independence woman is diabetic and says she has a number of health issues. She fears her medical care and the prescriptions she is prescribed will be compromised by the false test result in her records plus how it could affect her insurance.
"It was devastating," she said. "I just don't do that stuff . . . A doctor might think let's not worry about it because she's a meth head. I don't want it on my records . . . I don't live that kind of lifestyle and I don't want people to think that I do."
KCTV5 spoke to a TMC spokesman Friday morning about the woman's concerns, but never got a response.
Earlier this week KCTV5 reported that TMC recently had a problem with numerous false positives for the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia.
After seeing those reports, Pam Harrington spoke to KCTV5 about her experience. Harrington fears the stigma of the test result and how it will affect the medical care she receives.
"I told them I wanted this off my record because of my diabetes medicine," she said. "Anything might happen with my aging. I don't want somebody to see that and think I can't give her this medicine, that medicine or we can't treat her for this."
The ordeal began when she went to TMC's emergency room more than two years ago after suffering chest pains. She said she underwent a urine test. She said she was lectured by a nurse who claimed she tested positive for meth.
"She came in and told me that I had been doing methamphetamines, and it was in my system," Harrington recalled. "I told her, 'No way. I've never done that.' Well, she was adamant it was there."
She said she was flabbergasted and humiliated, and "wanted to crawl underneath the table."
She tried to get it taken off her record.
Shortly after that, she went in for a colonoscopy and an anesthesiologist asked her about the positive test and how it would affect her treatment. She said one nurse even said to her that she didn't look like the type to do meth. Harrington insisted on and got a second test showing she didn't have meth in her system.
She said she pleaded with the doctor and hospital staff to remove the false test. She said her cardiologist told her that she needed to get it off her records.
Harrington said she even went to the record's office more than once and asked for it to be removed, including submitting a form request. She said she got a letter back indicating that a note about the test results would be added but the test results would not be expunged.
She said she has received treatment at another doctor's office and they were aware of the meth-positive test result.
She said she hopes TMC will change its mind. She said both she and her husband have received quality care from the hospital.
"I love them. They saved my life," she said. "I just don't like they way they do their paperwork. It's just not right."
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