Hernando County Medical Malpractice Attorney :: U.S. Veteran Suing Hospital Over HIV Misdiagnosis

September 20, 2013

Modern medicine has given doctors the opportunity to achieve miracles when it comes to treating and even curing certain diseases that were once fatal. However, an accurate diagnosis is needed to make a successful recovery. Sadly, every time you visit the doctor’s office or hospital, you run the risk of falling victim to an incorrect diagnosis that could result in a delay of treatment, worsen a disease or even cause death.

Medical misdiagnosis can happen in a variety of situations. In most cases, doctors provide patients with a completely wrong diagnosis. The patient could be suffering from another disease that has no relation to the wrong diagnosis, or they may not be suffering from any type of medical condition at all. Such was the case for a Kentucky-area veteran who was misdiagnosed with HIV in 2004.

The 43-year-old United States veteran has been taking medication to fight off HIV ever since a doctor at the University of Kentucky Medical Center diagnosed him as HIV-positive, regardless of the fact that other tests had come up negative.


The man did not learn about any problems with his diagnosis until eight years later when he tried to claim veteran’s benefits for his medical costs. The Veterans Administration requested records of “a confirmatory test” of HIV infection to validate the man’s medical claims, but records show that no test conducted ever confirmed the man had HIV.

The man’s legal counsel clarified that this mistaken diagnosis may have lead the man to contract HIV from an HIV-positive partner he dated after the diagnosis. Additionally, the years of taking HIV medication resulted in serious and unnecessary side effects.

At this time, it is still unknown if the man has even contracted the virus which causes AIDS.

It will be quite interesting to see how this case plays out. Should a jury find that a sensibly practical doctor with similar experience and training would not have diagnosed the man with HIV given the evidence, the doctors from UKMC who allegedly misdiagnosed the man will likely be found guilty of medical malpractice.

Unfortunately, patient safety is often neglected and placed second to other medical concerns. In fact, the National Patient Safety Foundation found that 42 percent of medical patients feel that they have been the victims of medical errors or misdiagnosis at some point in their treatment.

When a medical professional is negligent and misdiagnosis a patient, they can be held liable for any damages suffered by the patient. If you or someone you care for has suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice in Spring Hill, Brooksville, Ridge Manor, Weeki Wachee, Hernando Beach or Masaryktown, contact a Hernando County Medical Malpractice Attorney at Whittel & Melton today online or call 352-666-2121. We can help you recover what is rightfully yours, so do not delay.

Photo credit: Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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