Bronchiectasis patients with HIV prone to be misdiagnosed

You may know someone who was injured through the negligence of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional in New Haven, Connecticut. Some of the most common errors made out of negligence are diagnostic errors, and study after study has shown how various conditions are prone to misdiagnoses.

A recent study published in the journal Case Reports in Pulmonology has focused on a very small and unique group of patients: those who have both HIV and a lung condition called bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis is characterized by the infection or inflammation of the bronchi, or airways to the lungs.

Misdiagnosis of patients with HIV and bronchiectasis

The study was conducted by researchers at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City. It involved 14 patients with the two conditions; 12 were women, and the ages ranged from 12 to 77 with the median age being 42. Between 1999 and 2018, they were treated either at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center or at the Kings County Hospital Center, also in NYC.

Many were misdiagnosed with a condition arising from bacterial or fungal infection. For example, half were treated for a Mycobacterium avium complex infection while 43% were treated for Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia. Twenty-one percent were thought of as having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Patients not referred to a pulmonary specialist

The patients tended not to be referred to pulmonary specialists until their condition had progressed. Only two patients, who were diagnosed with bronchiectasis after a CT scan, received pulmonary services, but in the case of one of those patients, it came three years later. When patients had lung scans done, the results were often not communicated to the primary health care provider.

A lawyer for malpractice claims

A diagnostic error can lead to serious, irreparable harm. If you are the victim of such an error in a medical malpractice claim, you may want a lawyer to assist you. First, the lawyer may have an independent investigation done. Medical experts may determine the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and how much future medical care might cost. The lawyer may then be able to negotiate for a reasonable settlement.

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