Husband to take legal action against smear test lab

Husband to take legal action against smear test lab

Stephen and Irene Teap with their two children. Irene Teap died last year after receiving incorrect cervical cancer screening results.

CORK man Stephen Teap is planning to take a US laboratory to court to determine what happened to his wife’s cervical smear test.

Carrigaline native Irene Teap was diagnosed with stage two cancer in 2015 and died on July 26 last year, leaving behind two young sons, after two false negative tests in 2010 and 2013.

Her husband, Stephen, along with more than 220 women and families also impacted, has been trying to determine how this happened.

The latest report of the Scally Inquiry, published on Tuesday, revealed that wider outsourcing of screening tests was carried out, with 16 laboratories being used rather than the six that were originally identified.

The report found that a significant amount of the 300,000-plus tests sent to Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL) in Texas were outsourced.

While the laboratories were accredited at the time, the report said the Texas CPL lab should have consulted CervicalCheck in writing first before outsourcing the smears.

Irene Teap’s smear test was one of those sent to CPL.

However, Mr Teap does not know if her smear test was then outsourced as Dr Scally’s inquiry could not go that far.

Speaking on Tuesday, he said families want to know the identity of labs where mistakes were made.

“I have Irene’s result at home, it says Austin, Texas on it, as does every single other woman’s results that got their slides done through CPL.

“But the problem is, we don’t know where they were read,” he added.

“It’s not going to be established by Dr Gabriel Scally because he hasn’t been able to get that information.

“I will be taking CPL to court,” he revealed.

“Can I get that answer when I’m in front of them? I will try.”

While Dr Scally admitted that the lack of consultation prior to outsourcing was a concern, he said there was no evidence to suggest the labs which received outsourced smears were not up to standard.

He added that the system in place in Ireland for responding to errors in screening is inadequate to the task.

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