Nurses: Officials withheld women's abnormal test results in Cumberland County

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Former nurses in Cumberland County say the Health Department failed to notify women of their abnormal test results (WTVD)

An investigation into whether Cumberland County Health Department failed to alert women about abnormal results from breast and cervical cancer exams is underway.

Three former workers at the Health Department claim from 2010-2015, women who received these important screenings under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) were not notified if they had an abnormal result.

"It's serious because these women could have cancer and may not know they have cancer, may not know they need to continue to seek treatment," said one former worker.

A former nurse manager who retired after being with the department for 30 years is shocked by this oversight.

"Somebody failed," she said. "Somebody dropped the ball."

She asked not to be identified because of fear of retaliation. She said the error was discovered during a state audit in 2015.

"The person responsible for the program evidently didn't make an attempt to notify patients," she added.

She said that person was fired, and the county did send mailings to the women about their abnormal pap smear results, but she says many of those mailings came back undeliverable.

"There was an attempt to notify some of the clients, but it's my understanding all of the clients could not be found or located to receive the notification," she explained.

The former nurse manager believes more should be done to locate these women.

"I just don't think they exhausted every effort to find the client."

This former nurse manager is urging women who received health screenings under BCCCP from Cumberland County between 2010-2015 to contact the health department about their results.

A representative with Cumberland County issued this statement:

"The Public Health Department is working with County officials to investigate these allegations. We expect to have a full report that will address your questions by the end of this week."

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