NEWS
12/05/2017 07:19 EST | Updated 12/05/2017 07:20 EST

Results of sample testing for drugs thrown off by error at Saskatchewan lab

REGINA — Saskatchewan's disease control laboratory says an information technology error during screening of samples from about 450 patients for two drugs has resulted in incorrect test results being sent to their doctors.

The Ministry of Health says in a release that the error at the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory in Regina affected test results from Oct. 30 to Nov. 28 .

The release does not state what the problem was, but the ministry says it was quickly corrected and updated lab reports have been sent to all doctors who ordered the tests.

The statement says it's not believed the glitch had any significant effect on patient care.

The laboratory receives 75,000 patient samples for testing annually and is the only facility in the province that does comprehensive screening for drugs that can be abused.

The testing helps physicians identify patients struggling with addictions and provides a means of diagnostic treatment and support.

The two drugs tested for were codeine and diphenhydramine, also known as Benadryl.

Codeine is used to treat mild to moderately severe pain. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergies, hay fever and colds.

The ministry said both can be abused if they're not used properly.

"High-quality service and patient care is our priority, and we’re committed to making sure this does not happen again,” laboratory executive director Patrick O’Byrne said in the release.

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