Maryland General Hospital announced Tuesday it is still seeking 180 patients who may have received questionable HIV and hepatitis C test results. According to hospital spokesman Lee Kennedy, 460 people were originally identified as receiving suspect results during a 14-month period ending last August. "We are doing everything that we possibly can to find these individuals," said Kennedy of the patients still needing retesting. Of those already retested, 100% of the original HIV antibody tests proved accurate, Kennedy reported. He said all but three of the HCV cases matched the original results. In those three cases, negative HCV tests were found to be positive upon retesting. The hospital said possible reasons for the change in results may include testing equipment error and infection after the original test.
More than 400 patients at the Baltimore hospital were on the list of those who may have received incorrect HIV and hepatitis test results after laboratory personnel overrode controls in testing equipment that showed the results might be in error and mailed the suspect results to the patients. A hotline has been set up for people who were screened for HIV and hepatitis infection to call for more information and to reschedule retests. It can be reached at (877) 225-5660.