A conversation at the lab

"I asked for 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol. The invoice also says that. The report you gave me, however is for 25 hydroxy cholecalciferol."

"Hmmmm. Ok. Let me check."

(Calls someone.)

"Madam. There's a patient here. He says he asked for 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol but we gave him the report for 25 hydroxy cholecalciferol. They are the same? Ok. I will let him know."

"No, no, one second, let me speak to her."

(hands over the phone to me)

"They are not the same ma'am. 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol is the active form of Vitamin D3 while 25 hydroxy cholecalciferol is the inactive form. I want the level of the active form, not the inactive form."

"Hmmmm. But the bill said Vitamin D."

"Ma'am, I asked for 1,25 dihydroxy choilecalciferol and that is what the bill also says"

"Ok sir, please give me an hour and I will call you back"

This is the state of our labs. I paid a huge Rs. 2290 for this test and I wasn't going to accept a mistake someone else made. I asked for the correct test. I actually made the receptionist making the bill show me the monitor and made sure the correct test was chosen because I knew this could happen. And inspite of all this, I get a wrong test report!

For the last time, here is a summary of Vitamin D3:

25 hydroxy cholecalciferol is the inactive form of Vitamin D3. It is not of much use to the body. What the body needs is the active form - 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol. 25 hydroxy cholecalciferol is what we get from our food and sunlight etc. The kidney converts this inactive form to the active form - 1,25 dihydroxy cholecalciferol. This is the form that is useful in our body. This is what absorbs Calcium from our guts into the blood. In people with impaired renal function, obviously, the active form will be less because the inactive form is not being converted into the active form. So, people with kidney disease need to take a supplement of the active form.


Anonymous said…
hats off Dr. ji. Sad to hear abt the poor state the lab technicians are in. BTW also highlight the place where had ur test done so that ppl will be careful and ensure that they get the correct tests done and get the correct reports. Waiting for the next reply from the lab

Kartik said…
Oh God! Two things though - First, the guys who name these tests should make life simpler! Second, I still wouldn't trust the results from that particular lab with that particular sample :-(
First i do not understand and after i understand the real conversation..
IGA Nephropathy said…
Did u get the call back ?
Kamal D Shah said…
Ha, fat chance! They did not call. I waited until yesterday and then called them. To her credit, she apologized for not calling!

Anyway, I am giving a fresh sample today. They have said they will do it free. Let us hope.
Kamal D Shah said…
Kartik, I have no other choice! They are the only ones that do the test. And it is not some obscure lab in a galli. It is one of the most reputed hospitals in the city.

They send the sample to Bombay for the test so I think it was more of a procedural error rather than a medical one.