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What are the Federal (and State of Iowa) Record Retention Requirements (record retention schedule) for veterinarians? Additionally, what is the definition of a "medical record" for veterinarians?Background: An Animal Emergency Hospital in Iowa performed a thoracocentisis on our dog; shortly thereafter, she died. When we arrived at the hospital, the vet told us that she had withdrawn approx. 22 cc's of fluid from the chest cavity. When I asked for the lab/pathology analysis of that fluid, (3 months afterwards), I was told that the vet should have given us the vial when we arrived at the hospital (approx. one hour after her death), and also told us that if we wanted it tested, our vet would have to do it. That discussion never took place, with the end result being that the hospital discarded the fluid sample, without our knowledge or permission.
The Hospital Administrator maintains that the fluid sample was their property - not ours; consequently they did not need our permission to dispose of it. She claims that because the sample was not sent to the lab for analysis, it was not a medical record. Is that true?