Delayed test results reduce treatment options for potential COVID-19 patients

Lauran and Khayri Abdullah. (Photo provided)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Indiana has added new labs to help process the influx of COVID-19 testing across the state.

But some suspected coronavirus patents are still awaiting results more than a week after their samples were taken.

13 Investigates examines the long "wait time" for results and how it's impacting treatment options for a local teacher and coach.

"I never thought in a million years it would take this long," said Lauran Abdullah. She's talking about the time it's taking to get COVID-19 test results back for her husband Khayri.

The 33-year-old special education teacher and defensive line football coach at Lawrence Central High School has battled for his life.

His doctor sent him to Mid America Clinical Labs for COVID-19 testing last Monday, a week ago. For three days they waited for results.

Khayri's condition grew worse.

"He was panting and couldn't breathe at all," Lauran said.

By Thursday, March 19, Khayri was admitted to Community North Hospital.

He already had an underlying health condition and chest scans taken at the hospital were troubling. Doctors placed Khayri on a ventilator.

When lab results failed to show up the next day, Lauran said doctors conducted a new panel of COVID-19 testing and expected those results in 24 hours.

"Around the clock Saturday we were just waiting for the results," Lauran explained. "There's a medication an anti viral that they would like to give him , but you have to have a diagnosis to have that."

According to the Mid America website, "Test results are typically available 3 to 4 days from the time of specimen pickup (but) may be impacted by high demand."

13 Investigates reached out to Mid America and the State Department of Health about the delays.

In a statement, state health officials said:

"The turnaround time for testing specimens can vary depending on who is analyzing the samples.
Once samples are received at ISDH, (the) testing turnaround time is typically 24 hours.
Specimens sent to private labs may have longer turnaround times, and we cannot speak to those."

"I'm trying really hard not to cry and trying to be strong because I know he's doing the same for me," Lauran said. She's six months pregnant, and is now experiencing mild symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Lauran can't say enough about the friends and family reaching out to her during this crisis. She's drawing strength from an army of supporters while Khayri remains sedated on a ventilator, but showing signs of improvement.

"We're thankful for the doctors and the nurses.. thank God for those nurses," Lauran said.

While they all await an important diagnosis that could give doctors more options for Khayri's care.