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WAAY 31 I-TEAM: Madison Co. family uneasy after loved one tests positive & negative for coronavirus

The patient was tested 4 times for the virus. 2 of those tests were performed on the same day and had different results.

Posted: Aug 11, 2020 10:11 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2020 4:14 PM

The WAAY 31 I-TEAM worked to learn more about different coronavirus tests and their accuracy.

A family reached out to us and told us a loved one tested positive on two separate occasions before surgery at Crestwood Hospital, but tested negative for coronavirus at two different doctor's offices.

Pam Hudson, Crestwood Hospital CEO, said the hospital gives two types of test.

She said which one a patient gets is determined on a case by case basis, and that she can't comment directly on any specific cases.

The Madison County family said they just want to know if their loved one actually ever had the virus and want others to know they got multiple tests because the results didn't seem right.

"It's definitely frustrating because you've got a loved one that needs a procedure that's what I consider life-threatening. At the same time, you're being told you've got COVID, go home, you can't get the procedure until you test negative," said Scott Hudson who lives in Madison County.

Hudson said he took his loved one to Crestwood Hospital in July for surgery only to be turned away.

"It caused a lot of frustration and worry that I think was unnecessary," he said.

After a 14-day quarantine and a negative test at the family's doctor, Hudson said they rescheduled the surgery.

"Got prepped for surgery, another COVID test, tested positive again. At that point I wasn't believing it, and as we left the hospital, I went to another testing facility. We tested. A day later it came back and it was negative," he said.

Dr. Hudson, the hospital CEO, admitted some tests are more accurate than others.

"None of the tests are perfect," she said.

She explained the differences between the two different types of tests the hospital conducts.

"The antigen test is not as sensitive as we would like. It ranges depending on the different kinds of test in that category might range from 15% to 20% false negatives," she said. "A PCR test, if it's positive you can believe it. It can do a better job on the sensitivity factor so, if you have a negative PCR you're pretty sure, but it's not 100%."

Hudson said he believe his loved one was given an antigen test at the hospital because results came back in less than a half hour. He said both doctor offices the family member visited adminstered the PCR test. 

Scott Hudson remains frustrated with how everything played out. He thinks the hospital needs to test patients earlier on in the surgery process, and families should seek a second opinion if they're unsure about results.

"For surgeries they want to do a test. I would say do not hook people up to IVs and get them prepped for surgery before you test them COVID. Send them home before they have to go through all of that," he said.

He explained his loved one did end up getting the surgery after the 4 tests. The family member was always asymptomatic.

The hospital said with changing CDC guidelines a follow up test might not always be required, but they suggest anyone with concerns about testing to consult their doctor.

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