Alberta Well being Providers is lifting outbreak protocols put in place Saturday at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital after a false-positive COVID-19 check led to the cancellation of some surgical procedures and positioned the power on alert.
In a assertion to CBC Information, AHS mentioned the hospital had been coping with potential publicity on two models from a affected person who initially examined constructive for the virus on Saturday.
Outbreak protocols have been carried out the identical day.
All sufferers on the affected wards have been being examined, contact tracing was being accomplished, some surgical procedures have been cancelled and guests to the hospital have been restricted — till a retest on Monday revealed the affected person was not truly contaminated.
“Two models on the Royal Alexandra Hospital are now not below outbreak protocol after the one affected person who was presumed to be COVID-19 constructive, examined unfavourable,” AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson mentioned in an emailed assertion to CBC Information.
“We apologize to anybody who was impacted by the postponement of their elective procedures, and we’re working to have them rescheduled subsequent week.”
False outcomes are unusual, Williamson mentioned.
“Sadly, on very uncommon events, lab outcomes produce a ‘false constructive.'”
“When uncommon errors do happen — and we’re made conscious of them — outcomes are corrected, the basis causes investigated, and corrective actions are taken to additional mitigate the danger of such errors recurring.”
Following the false constructive check, 13 hip and knee arthroplasty circumstances and three urogynecology procedures have been cancelled.
These sufferers will probably be rescheduled as excessive precedence, as quickly as doable, Williamson mentioned.
All emergency and pressing procedures, in addition to most cancers circumstances, continued to be scheduled. An extra orthopedic trauma room had been opened to deal with any new circumstances.
Well being officers say testing isn’t 100-per-cent correct however the exams accomplished at provincial labs exceed regulatory pointers for accuracy and efficiency.
“Whereas we don’t have a exact measure of the charges of false-negative and false-positive outcomes, we anticipate these outcomes to happen very not often based mostly on the evaluations that [Alberta Precision Laboratories] has carried out,” Williamson mentioned.
There have been a number of high-profile examples of false-positive exams for COVID-19. A false constructive in Nunavut’s Pond Inlet got here to gentle in early Could and initially had authorities officers scrambling to get an emergency response group to the distant neighborhood.
Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious ailments professional on the College of Alberta, mentioned that with the excessive quantity of exams being accomplished, some anomalies are anticipated. As of Tuesday, 442,253 exams had been accomplished in Alberta.
“We have solely had this illness and its exams for some months however we have used exams much like this for respiratory viruses for a very long time and false positives are fairly uncommon however not not possible,” Saxinger mentioned.
The testing is correct and delicate, Saxinger mentioned however like all exams comes with limitations. There’s a danger of cross-contamination within the lab or in transport. One other type of coronavirus infecting the affected person may additionally result in a false constructive.
Saxinger mentioned public well being officers are extra involved about the potential of false negatives, which normally consequence from the improper assortment of swab samples. “This simply reminds us that it will probably go the opposite method too.”
She mentioned Albertans ought to think about the testing protocols, noting that on the Royal Alex, well being officers acted shortly to sluggish doable transmission and have been fast to detect the error.
“It is at all times higher to be secure than sorry with this, as a result of clearly the implications of the constructive when somebody who’s been in hospital is an enormous deal and it’s a must to take that very critically.
“In a method, it means our programs are working the best way that they are alleged to.”