Misdiagnosis: Incorrect HIV Diagnosis Leads to Settlement for Emotional Distress

December 1, 2012 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​A year after the District of Columbia (DC) Court of Appeals ruled that patients who are incorrectly informed by their physicians that they have a life-threatening illness can sue for emotional distress, a community health center settled a seven-year lawsuit with a man who was misdiagnosed with HIV.

The man, whose girlfriend at the time told him that she had AIDS and was worried that she had given the disease to him, went to the community health center for testing in 2000. His test was negative, but an employee at the clinic wrote in the man's medical record that he had taken two tests at the clinic and that one of them was positive. A physician at the clinic did not review the man's...

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