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Failure to diagnose HIV results in $18.4 million verdict

There are many patients in Louisiana who rely on medical testing to identify an illness or to prevent other potential medical problems. Some patients request that certain tests be performed based on their family histories, their lifestyles, their jobs, or based on a medical professional's recommendation. However, when these tests are not performed, it is possible for important information to slip by doctors. Failure to diagnose a serious illness early can cause patients to suffer for many years.

A man was recently awarded $18.4 million after doctors failed to perform an HIV test despite the fact that there were reasons why he would have been more vulnerable to the disease. Attorneys noted that the patient was more vulnerable to HIV due to the fact that he is homosexual and he previously worked as a paramedic. As a paramedic, the patient would have been exposed to a variety bodily fluids on a regular basis. 

In 2007, the patient gave his consent to perform an HIV test after being told that he was exhibiting symptoms suggestive of the illness. However, the test was not performed, and the patient was not informed that it was not performed. It was not until three years later in 2010 that the test was performed and the patient learned that doctors had never tested him in 2007. When the test was finally performed, the disease had already progressed to AIDS, and the patient was suffering from a number of complications, including brain damage. Eventually, the illness caused the patient to lose his current job as a lawyer. 

After being presented with the signed consent form from 2007, a jury determined that three doctors were negligent in the patient's treatment. The three doctors included an internist, a neurologist and an infectious disease specialist. Since his diagnosis, the patient has been on medication to control his illness and no longer experiences AIDS-related symptoms. 

Patients who have suffered an injury due to a medical professional's mistake or whose treatment was delayed due to a failure to diagnose an illness may be entitled to compensation. Louisiana residents who wish to file a medical malpractice case could benefit from speaking with an attorney. Victims may be entitled to compensation for additional medical expenses, future medical care or loss of income. 

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