Medical misdiagnosis has real effects on Massachusetts residents every day. It keeps them from getting access to the right care and treatment and can even put their lives at risk. This is what happened to a group of HIV patients that were studied who had a dangerous lung disease misdiagnosed.
The research study looked at a small number of HIV patients in New York City. In general, these patients are underserved by the health system and end up stock in crowded hospitals without adequate care for them. They also do not have the education necessary to understand a complicated system and little faith in the few doctors there to serve them. These patients all had a lung disease called bronchiectasis, which is a blockage or expansion of the bronchial tubes. However, in most cases, doctors gave them the wrong type of treatment because they did not know what the patients had. Many of these patients ended up receiving antimicrobial drugs as opposed to the bronchodilator therapies needed to treat this condition. This delayed crucial treatment for this progressive condition.
In general, HIV patients are living longer. As a result, they are more prone to get some of the diseases that accompany HIV. Diagnosis and treatment of this condition must improve so that they can have a better quality of life.
Any type of failure to properly diagnose the patient may be considered medical malpractice if it resulted from the physician’s lack of due care. This could mean that the physician or the hospital may be liable to pay the patient financial compensation. A medical malpractice attorney may help a patient who has been injured by a misdiagnosis as they seek to obtain compensation through the legal system. They could file a lawsuit on behalf of their client in court.