Lab specimen sent from Niue to New Zealand reported missing

Lab specimen from the gynecological clinics conducted in April this year which were sent to New Zealand have been reported missing.

101 specimens were sent to New Zealand. Of these, 17 did not turn up to the lab in New Zealand for testing with reasons unknown.

With the current system, specimens are sent across to New Zealand by courier. 

This has been confirmed by Gynecologists from Middlemore hospital in Auckland Anne Marie Van der Merwe and Caitlyn Prendergest who conducted the clinics at the Niue Foou hospital in April this year.  

Responding to BCN News, Caitlyn Prendergest stated the specimens are sent from Niue Foou Hospital laboratory to Auckland lab plus by Courier.

She stated that as gynecologists, they are not involved with that process and it is the Laboratory and Hospital’s responsibility.

According to Prendergest, this is the second time this has happened as specimens went missing with a previous visit in 2017.

She says they have been waiting since May and have been contacting the labs at both ends hoping the samples would turn up, as some have. Both gynecologists decided it has been long enough and have contacted the women involved.

These specimens will need to be taken again, Prendergest stated this can be done by the medical staff in Niue. Currently, there is only one qualified nurse registered to perform smears at the Niue Foou hospital.

For their next visit, Prendergest states they are looking into permissions with the Ministry for Primary Industries in New Zealand in order to be able to physically transport the specimens themselves.

“ This has been extremely frustrating, and we are very upset by this as this is the second incident and may be harmful to our patients. We agree that this has been unacceptable for the women involved, and all we can do is apologize for the delay and continue to work to improve the systems. “ said Prendergest

BCN News has contacted the Director General of Social Services who is yet to reply to our queries.

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