Anger as tests delayed by leaks

TWO Letterkenny women have reacted angrily over the HSE’s handling of Covid-19 tests after their samples leaked while in transit to testing laboratories and were not able to be used.
 Zeinab Milanovic went for her test at the test centre in St Eunan’s GAA Club on Thursday, May 7 and after waiting twelve days for her results she contacted the laboratory in Dublin directly and was told her  sample could not be tested because it was damaged. Speaking to the Donegal News Ms Milanovic said she was angry because no one from the HSE contacted her to tell her what happened.  The mother of two young children initially took to social media to ask what was the normal waiting period and what she should do next. After contacting the Covid-19 Donegal Facebook Group she was given the phone number of the testing laboratory in Dublin. On Tuesday of this week Ms Milanovic called the UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory directly.
She said: “They told me the sample could not be tested as it was damaged in transit and it was leaking. Nobody called me and told me that. I am a bit angry. I had shortness of breath and I was feeling tired but I am feeling much better now. But it could have been someone with more serious issues and with an underlying health problem and they could be waiting, not knowing. It is a very delicate issue and they (the HSE) should be more professional.”
Ms Milanovic, who is originally from Bosnia and has been living in Letterkenny for the last two and a half years, was surprised to see that when she shared what happened to her online others posted about similar experiences. Last week another woman from Letterkenny, who was tested at the GAA Centre on Thursday, April 30, contacted the Donegal News about her delayed results.
Yesterday the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, was told by her doctor’s surgery that her test was also damaged in transit and had leaked. She waited 20 days to have this confirmed despite being told she would get the results within two to three days.
“I think it is very convenient that it turned up today, days after I contacted your newspaper,” she said “I think it is ridiculous and it is just not on. The worry I had to go through, you do feel very sick with this virus.”
The woman is now in the process of booking a re-test after being advised by her doctor.
When the Donegal News contacted the HSE about the delay in this woman’s test a spokesperson said: “The HSE cannot comment on circumstances surrounding individual cases. There are approximately 15,000 Covid 19 tests being performed per day. Currently the average turnaround time for testing including contact tracing is 3 days. The latest information on testing can be found on the HSE website”

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