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Identification errors in pathology and laboratory medicine

  • Paul N. Valenstein
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Michigan Multispecialty Physicians–Pathology, P.O. Box 3058, 5301 East Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3058.
    Affiliations
    Pathology Division, Michigan Multispecialty Physicians, P.O. Box 3058, 5301 East Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3058, USA

    Department of Pathology, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, 5301 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA
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  • Ronald L. Sirota
    Affiliations
    Department of Pathology, Lutheran General Hospital, 1775 Dempster Street, Park Ridge, IL 60068-1174, USA
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      Identification errors in the laboratory involve misidentification of a patient or a specimen. Either error has the potential to cause patients harm. Some of the more spectacular medical misadventures reported in the press involve specimen identification errors, such as a recently publicized case of an unnecessary mastectomy that resulted from the mix-up of two biopsy specimens.
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