Boycott LabCorp

Track Your Plaque Members have been following this conversation on the Track Your Plaque Forum.

A good number of people have had their blood drawn for NMR lipoprotein analysis through laboratories operated by the Laboratory Corporation of American, or LabCorp. When the results were returned, the very important page 2 of the report was withheld. Many of us have communicated with the company, only to be given some corporate-speak about internal policy.

I have personally expressed my dissatisfaction, my outrage, at this silly policy. Why would laboratory results that you or your insurance paid for be denied to you? It is my understanding that, on request, you are legally entitled to the information. The page 2 information is provided by the laboratory (Liposcience, Inc.) that actually performs the testing. LabCorp does nothing more than draw the blood, prepare the specimen, then convey and dilute the results that Liposcience reports to them.

My personal suspicion is that the LabCorp people do this to 1) make the results appear that they actually performed the tests and not farmed to an outside laboratory (Liposcience), and 2) not further confuse and befuddle the bungling primary care physician who barely understands cholesterol issues to begin with. "LDL, HDL, triglycerides . . . What now--a bunch of new information, bars even!?

To me, this LabCorp policy is criminal. In fact, I wonder if this has the substance to justify a class action lawsuit against LabCorp. I believe that we can easily make a case that crucial health information is being systematically denied to people.

If this has affected you, or if you share in the frustration of many people who have had watered down lipoprotein results provided, write to:


Ken Younts, VP of Sales at LabCorp. Yountsk@labcorp.com


Or, write to:

Tom MacMahon
Chairman of the Board

David P. King
President and Chief Executive Officer

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings
358 South Main Street
Burlington, NC 27215



Thanks to the Track Your Plaque Members who have already participated in this campaign and written to the LabCorp people. And thanks to our Members who uncovered the contact information.

Until then, please BOYCOTT LABCORP LABORATORIES. Please do not use LabCorp Laboratories if you can avoid it. Simply ask the laboratory staff who operates the lab and they should tell you. It is your right to know.

Comments (13) -

  • Anonymous

    8/27/2007 3:48:00 AM |

    Can you get the page 2 result directly from Liposcience?

  • Dr. Davis

    8/27/2007 4:04:00 AM |

    We've tried and encountered resistance.

    The Liposcience people have deferred to LabCorp when the results were delivered via LabCorp. I believe that  Liposcience is honoring the terms of a contract. LabCorp is serving its own misguided purposes.

  • Anonymous

    8/27/2007 7:48:00 PM |

    Dr. Davis,

    When you get VAP results from  Quest all the info is included,to include the ApoB100.

    LabCorp reports almost all the info except the ApoB100 number. So, they don't include one line not a whole page.  I realize this may not help LabCorp much and may just be more fuel to the fire, but I thought you should know.

    The nice thing about VAP is that you get Lp(a) without having to pay for an additional test like you do if you want NMR and Lp(a).

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  • Anonymous

    10/26/2007 2:58:00 PM |

    As a former employee of LabCorp, I would like to offer another possibility, they just screwed up.  The aim of top management has been to run up the stock price (and the value of their stock options)at the expense of their clients and employees.  The IT department in particular has been hard hit by corporate corner-cutting that has turned the flow of information from client to lab and back again into a nightmare. Losing a page of data from patient results is a very real possibility. MacMahon et. al. have been made aware of these problems in the past and yet continued their destructive policies.  I seriously doubt they will pay any attention to your complaints now.  Protect yourself and just go elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    4/13/2008 6:05:00 PM |

    As another former employee, I tried sharing similiar concerns about issues like this, and they ended up firing me. Take your business elsewhere!

  • Labcorp Sucks

    4/27/2008 2:38:00 AM |

    LabCorp Sucks! I have had so many problems with them that I finally got fed up and created a website just to document all the complaints that people have against this sorry excuse for a clinical lab company, www.labcorpsucks.com. We will be taking all the complaints and providing them to investigative agencies in government. While they have some very nice people working for them, the majority of their mid-level managers are incompetent. Maybe after they are all unemployed they will "get it". Al - www.labcorpsucks.com

  • Anonymous

    5/23/2008 9:31:00 PM |

    Hi Dr. Davis, we've got the same problem, except it's with a hemochromatosis test that was just run. When we get my husband's blood iron count levels tested at the Red Cross, the nurses always raise their eyebrows, and say, my goodness! You have a LOT of iron in your blood!
    My husband was adopted in NC, which is THE hotspot for JH (juvenile hemochromatosis) in the United States. He has all the symptoms, has suffered them since he was very little, and they've become increasingly worse over the years. Doctors have looked him over and have never been able to figure out what is wrong. Some even told him he was simply lazy! We finally stumbled across this website for JH one day... and said, Eureka! That's EXACTLY it! He feels a million times better after he's bled... which gradually worsens over the next day or two, but for that little while, he's free of pain and loves life.
    So we went to get him tested, and guess what... the results came back "negative." What the heck does "negative" mean? There are numbers for each test, right? We are looking for an independent blood lab with a commitment to quality... do you have any suggestions? We fear that the damage to his organs is so great that he needs help NOW, if you have any suggestions, we'd love to know! The tests are total iron binding count, serum iron and serum ferritin.

    I must confess that I have worked at the Burlington location of LabCorp and have witnessed lab techs goofing off instead of watching the tests done, some of them timed precisely to give the accurate reading. Many of the people there are hired because of nepotism or cronyism and do not have the skills necessary or the lab degrees that they should, but have been "grandfathered" in. I know others who have worked there who ran microbiological testing and would screw up entire batches of gram pos/neg tests because they couldn't run the machine right... HUNDREDS of tests to be run again. If they sit too long, you get false positives and negatives... way to go... you could be dying, and you won't know! Way to go!

    We're thinking about suing them if we get independent lab tests done and they come back positive (which they should... it's just a classic case). It's a fatal disease and he needs immediate help.

  • Anonymous

    6/26/2008 3:23:00 AM |

    You need to have an unsaturated iron binding capacity done, all of the other test could be negative but very few labs calculate this test.  It is the most important when testing for hereditary hemachromatosis.  I broght  it up to our lab manager about a month ago and we started running it with all of our iron profiles.  We are starting to see more positives of this test along with the negatives on the total iron, tibc and iron saturation.  This test really makes a difference.  Feel free to email me, I would be happy to give you some advice.  cjpirkle@hotmail.com

  • Anonymous

    1/16/2009 1:46:00 AM |

    I have even a more serious complaint with this lab. I am a patient of a doctor for chronic pain and nasty panic attacks.

    It cost me $240 cash to have a drug test to prove to my doctor I AM taking both my pain and nerve meds. It's true, the UNINSURED people are the ones paying the price, we get charged the FULL RATE, medical insurance will negotiate a much lower price (I tried and they laughed at me!!) Well people, I hate too tell you this, but my results were NOT accurate and it may very well cost me my sanity and even my job if I have no meds during a work related panic attack I will be unable to work and likely will end up in the hospital, still with no medical insurance. I did everything I was supposed to to as told and directed.

    The medication not detected was Klonopin (Clonazepam)- I have needed and taken this medication along with my pain killers for years, and now my life is much better and I can once again work for a living. Because of this screwed up test result my life now is in the hands of LabCorp and my doctor. - Most likely I will end up in a hospital if my doctor cuts me off. I’m in shock over this. I’m innocent. I can not understand what the problem is with the lab not detecting this particular nerve/panic med, but I have read that it’s happening to others too.

    I have found much evidence that shows how the most expensive drug testing labs can go by NOT detecting Klonopin (Clonazepam)in patients that take it- and you can bet I have submitted all of such information to my doctor. This is my life as I know whats at stake here, (A LOT!!) and for $240 one would think a lab could find a med I was taking every single day for years, and even on the day of the drug test.

    I had to pay CASH $$ for my drug test, so I hate their rates AND their screwed up lab work. My life as I know it is in the hands of a bunch of people that can screw up my life for a very long time. I suggest NOBODY uses this drug testing company.

    Now I have to worry about real life nightmares hitting me while I drive, all because of a drug test that was wrong and a doctor that places too much faith in such tests. I’m not very happy, and I’m broke. I did nothing wrong and I fear there must be many others just like me in the same boat. Doctors should not place so much faith in these drug tests- they can be WRONG!

          ME

  • buy jeans

    11/2/2010 7:41:06 PM |

    To me, this LabCorp policy is criminal. In fact, I wonder if this has the substance to justify a class action lawsuit against LabCorp. I believe that we can easily make a case that crucial health information is being systematically denied to people.

  • Anonymous

    4/2/2011 9:28:39 PM |

    As a fromer employee and department manager for Labcorp I do now that from a Legal standpoint we are a third party that is contracted with your primary care physician to do you lab work.  If you ahve not received all of the information on a lab report then you need to bring thast up with your primary care physician.  We are only aloowed to release information directly to them in most cases, becasue we are a third party.  More often than not the final page of a report does not have anything on it but Labcorp information and nothing related to your test results.  As I said before the best option would be to go to your primary care physician and find out if they have the second page you are looking for and if not get them to request the page you are looking for or get a form of permission from your Dr to release this information to you.  The second part of this could take a little while becasue of our legal responsibilities in our contracts with the Dr's.  The lab that Iworked in was very thorough and caring about their patients and would have taken the time to explain why we could not release these results directly to you.  It is unfortunate that the lab you worked with did not take then time to help you further in your quest.  As with most compnaies some locations are not run as well as others.

  • pjnoir

    4/19/2011 7:27:52 PM |

    okay its 4/2011    has anything changed?   I need to get this test done. what are my options?  I do get the numbers I need, right?

  • dr. mason

    2/27/2013 1:36:14 PM |

    Feb 2013
    LabCorp in Palo Alto on Middlefield Rd.  was shocking.  I thought I was in the third world.
    Understaffed, specimens sat overnight, specimen box on floor outside on sidewalk, rude and very
    stressed staff person working alone and doing the job of 3 people taking it out on the customers.
    Our medical system is the worst of all the developing countries and the most expensive.    Blood
    analysis is the heart of that system and if its completely deteriorated and no monitoring agency is
    able to enforce standards, then what hope is there?  something is terribly wrong.

Loading
Does fish oil cause blood thinning?

Does fish oil cause blood thinning?

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have the capacity to "thin the blood." In reality, omega-3s exert a mild platelet-blocking effect (platelet activation and "clumping" are part of clot formation), while also inhibiting arachidonic acid formation and thromboxane.

But can fish oil cause excessive bleeding?

This question comes up frequently in the office, particularly when my colleagues see the doses of fish oil we use for cardiovascular protection. "Why so much fish oil? That's too much blood thinning!"

The most recent addition to the conversation comes from a Philadelphia experience reported in the American Journal of Cardiology:

Comparison of bleeding complications with omega-3 fatty acids + aspirin + clopidogrel--versus--aspirin + clopidogrel in patients with cardiovascular disease.(Watson et al; Am J Cardiol 2009 Oct 15;104(8):1052-4).

All 364 subjects in the study took aspirin and Plavix (a platelet-inhibiting drug), mostly for coronary disease. Mean dose aspirin = 161 mg/day; mean dose Plavix = 75 mg/day. 182 of the subjects were also taking fish oil, mean dose 3000 mg with unspecified omega-3 content.

During nearly 3 years of observation, there was no excess of bleeding events in the group taking fish oil. (In fact, the group not taking fish oil had more bleeding events, though the difference fell short of achieving statistical significance.) Thus, 3000 mg per day of fish oil appeared to exert no observable increase in risk for bleeding. This is consistent with several other studies, including that including Coumadin (warfarin), with no increased bleeding risk when fish oil is added.

Rather than causing blood thinning, I prefer to think that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil restore protection from abnormal clotting. Taking omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil simply restores a normal level of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood sufficient to strike a healthy balance between blood "thinning" and healthy blood clotting.

Comments (20) -

  • Marc

    10/26/2009 9:46:32 PM |

    Long time reader, first comment.
    Thank you for so freely sharing all the information.

    Marc

  • Daniel

    10/26/2009 11:02:46 PM |

    Thank you for this!  I have had this question for a long time given the number of things I take that "thin the blood."

  • Kevin

    10/26/2009 11:44:45 PM |

    As a veterinarian I've dispensed fish oil capsules for several years.  Some owners give so many that the dogs smell 'fishy' when seen for routine care.  The owner doesn't smell it since they're with the dog a lot.  The coats are gorgeous, something that doesn't often happen in Wyoming at 7000ft altitude.

  • Dr. William Davis

    10/26/2009 11:47:45 PM |

    Hi, Kevin--

    My two Boston terriers jump for their fish oil capsules, two every day!

    I'm glad to hear from a veterinarian that the coat sheen is indeed from the fish oil.

  • Rich

    10/27/2009 1:27:09 AM |

    Due to an afib episode a couple of years ago, I was taking 20 mg of warfarin per day, plus around 5000 mg of EPA+DHA, and never had bleeding issues.  

    My INR was always a stable 2.0.

    As I've not had an afib reoccurrence, I've replaced the 20mg coumadin with 325mg aspirin daily, and still take around 5000 mg EPA+DHA.  No bleeding issues with that combo either.

  • Catherine

    10/27/2009 3:55:32 AM |

    Glad this topic came up.
    Over the last 5 years, I've had to periodically eliminate my fish oil intake as I would start to bruise badly. My internist said she has seen this occasionally with fish oil and called it "capillary fragility." I bruise easily anyway, but it would really get bad with fish oil. So there must be some quality in fish oil that influences this.

    Then about 6 months ago I started a strong supplement change to help with my low bone density--already taking magnesium and calcium but added:
    Boron, K2, silica,pomegrantate juice, and BIG increase in vitamin D.
    I also increased omegas to 3,000 a day which I was not able to tolerate before.

    It has been over 4 months since I have had ANY bruise---which is just unheard of for me. I usually have 3-4 different bruises on arms/legs. So something in these supplements  strengthened my capillaries I guess, and I can now take high fish oil doses!
    Anyone else had a bruising problem with fish oil?

  • Dr. William Davis

    10/27/2009 11:04:59 AM |

    Hi, Catherine--

    Fascinating observation!

    I'll bet it has something to do with the vitamin D, more than anything else. Vitamin D seems to strengthen structural tissues in bones, muscle, heart valves, and perhaps capillaries and other small blood vessels.

  • trix

    10/27/2009 11:59:37 AM |

    Several years ago I bruised easily for a while and attributed it to taking garlic supplements daily.  I started taking Vit C and the bruising stopped.  I don't think it had to do with fish oil (in my case); I don't think I was taking fish oil at the time.

  • Daniel

    10/27/2009 9:37:33 PM |

    I too achieve rapid blood thinning when taking 2400mg of EPA/DHA per day. That's only 4 pharmaceutical grade capsules. Even after my vitamin d levels were normalized I still got bruising.

    I now take Vitamin K2 (MK-7 natto extract) twice a week and it's allowed me to bump my EPA/DHA up to 3600mg with no ill effects or bruising.

    It was either supplement or eat a lot of aged cheese, they both seemed to do the trick in my particular case.

  • Healthy Oil Guy

    10/27/2009 9:53:51 PM |

    Thank you for sharing this study with us.  It helps clarify whether there is a risk for blood thinning from taking fish oils.  This information may help individuals who are taking blood thinning medications and considering adding fish oils to their daily diet.

  • Dave

    10/28/2009 2:22:01 AM |

    Catherine,

    Without a doubt, your cessation of bruising was due to vitamin k2. I routinely take nattokinase, large doses of fish oil, curcumin, and other blood thinning agents, and if I don't take vitamin K2, I will begin bruising. (I also take high doses of Vitamin D). When I take K2, I have absolutely no bruising.

    Vitamin K2 has many clinical trials showing that it helps endothelium  integrity and elasticity.

    Also, grapeseed extract and pine bark extract (specifically oligomeric proanthcyanins) has the same beneficial effect.

  • Catherine

    10/28/2009 4:41:41 PM |

    Daniel,

    That's really interesting! There is a lot of research on K2's effect on strengthening weak bones. Bone fractures go down considerably when high doses of K2 are used (Japan is using K2 as osteoporosis treatment) BUT studies show it needs to be in conjunction with adequate calcium and Vitamin D---they work synergistically for bone strength.  So it makes sense that K2 and D could do the same with strengthening fragile capillaries. I am also taking the M7 natto form.

  • Catherine

    10/29/2009 12:01:36 AM |

    Dave,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with this, you've really confirmed it now for me.  I can't believe I have suffered with this for most of my life with no answers (tried high dose Vit C, grape seed, etc) and now within months on K2, there's no bruising and I can tolerate fish oil. Hope my bones are responding this well!
    This blog is so helpful....

  • Mina

    10/29/2009 12:21:31 PM |

    Thanks for posting this. The question recently came up in our office. I like your assertion that omega-3s restore the blood to normal and remove abnormal clotting. And to comment on a post above, our dog has a beautifully shiny coat and takes 2 pure EPA capsules each day!

  • Term papers

    1/26/2010 3:40:08 PM |

    I have enjoyed reading That During nearly 3 years of observation, there was no excess of bleeding events in the group taking fish oil. (In fact, the group not taking fish oil had more bleeding events, though the difference fell short of achieving statistical significance.

  • Viagra Online

    8/23/2010 6:41:39 PM |

    I've been drinking fish oil for many year and I don't have any chance in my body people use to said me that but I think it is just a rumor.

  • buy jeans

    11/3/2010 10:19:55 PM |

    I'm also especially gratified that a woman now holds our record. I'm uncertain why, but the ladies have been shy and the men remain the dominant and vocal participants in our program. Speak up, ladies!

  • moseley2010

    12/7/2010 2:37:16 AM |

    I haven't heard of this problem
    fish oil supplements. But now we know what to tell them when this sort of concern comes up. Fish oil or Omega-3 is really beneficial to health. It's just important that it comes from clean waters.

  • Jack

    3/12/2013 7:03:38 PM |

    What is an appropriate dose of fish oil for someone taking coumadin?

  • dorange

    6/15/2014 3:53:03 PM |

    Dr. Davis, when  person is taking Tamoxifen...
    (1) is it safe to take vitamin k2 or K1?
    (2) will fish oil have a role in preventing blood clots?

Loading