Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital provide information following laboratory processing issue

June 11th, 2015

June 11, 2015 (KITCHENER) – As a result of a strong quality control system in the joint laboratory program of Grand River Hospital and St Mary’s General Hospital, a processing issue was quickly identified allowing corrective action. Today, the hospitals are informing patients following the processing issue.

Grand River and St. Mary’s operate a joint laboratory program. GRH examines biopsies and surgically-removed tissues for its patients and those from St. Mary’s. An incorrect setting on a tissue processing machine at GRH affected 117 cases from both hospitals processed the night of May 24, 2015. This issue was identified and corrected the following day.

Most of the tissue samples were able to be re-processed and results were successfully reported to the referring physicians. The steps to conduct tissue processing, study and reporting usually take five to seven days to complete. Urgent cases take one to two days. Because of extra caution in re-processing and interpreting these results, the re-processing took longer than usual.

Nineteen patients will require additional follow-up with their referring physicians. In one case, a patient required a repeat procedure which has been completed. The hospitals sent letters by courier today to all 19 of these patients. Referring physicians have been involved throughout the process.

“The fact that we have good quality control systems in place allowed us to quickly identify the error and address it proactively with the patients affected,” explained Dr. Dimitrios Divaris, Chief of Pathology for the medical laboratories of Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital.

“High quality care is vital to the patients we serve, and all of our actions have been focused on ensuring patients’ needs are met. We apologize to all affected by this issue,” said Malcolm Maxwell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Grand River Hospital.

“We remain confident in our staff and pathologists and the quality of our joint laboratory services,” added St. Mary’s President Don Shilton.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Karjaluoto, 519-749-4300 extension 2788, cellular 519-577-4323,

Anne Kelly, 519-749-6578 extension 1501, cellular 226-339-1903,