Pennsylvania Hospitals Stop Unscientific Blood Testing Procedures

Posted On November 13, 2009 by Charles Ramsay

I have been following a breaking news story out of Pennsylvania. Hospitals announced they have discontinued blood testing for DWI alcohol testing. This is long overdue and comes about due to the Herculean efforts of one Pennsylvania Lawyer Justin McShane, of The McShane Firm, LLC.

Until now, Pennsylvania hospitals would analyze blood samples for DWI alcohol testing at the request of police utilizing "enzymatic testing,| a method widely considered by forensic scientists to be invalid, unreliable and inaccurate. Despite this, the state took citizens' driver's licenses and put them in jail based solely on enzymatic testing of blood samples.

The story behind the change in hospital policy is interesting. Mr. McShane had regularly obtained court orders which placed the hospital labs under great scrutiny and drained significant resources. The scrutiny jeopardized the hospitals' lab accreditation with scientific organizations when McShane exposed the unscientific methods. The loss of accreditation would have been extremely costly to the hospitals. In the end, rather than risk the loss of their accreditation under further intense scrutiny and exposure, the hospitals and clinics have informed police they will not longer analyze the blood samples.

Police will now likely send blood samples to the state crime lab to be analyzed using the Gas Chromatography â?? the gold standard of blood testing if administered and evaluated properly. It remains to be seen what effect this implicit admission will have on pending cases.

Minnesota does not recognize the enzymatic method for DWI blood testing. It uses the Gas Chromatography to measure the amount of alcohol in drivers' blood. Coincidentally, Justin and I spent this week in Chicago at a hands-on science course entitled, Gas Chromatography: Fundamentals, Troubleshooting, and Method Development. The other attorneys attending the course were Andrew Alpert, Tyler Flood, Roderick Frechette, Stephen Hamilton, Josh Lee, Donald Ramsell and Michael Solak.

If you have been accused of having a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, call Chuck Ramsay immediately for the best possible DWI legal representation in Minnesota.

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