Most people in Washington State have heard tragic stories about a patient who ends up with a serious condition that was potentially made worse by the fact that physicians did not appropriately diagnose it early enough, preventing them from the opportunity for early intervention or treatment when the condition was at a less severe state. In these scenarios people generally assume that medical professionals have all of the facts in front of them but fail to put the pieces together appropriately.
That may certainly be the case but there are other nuances which may lead to a failure to diagnose a condition. One of those things may be the failure to even collect information that might lead a health care professional to make the right diagnosis.
An example of this can be seen in the case of a man who ended up contracting AIDS and has recently been awarded a substantial settlement for the alleged negligence on the part of two different doctors. As reported by The Seattle Times, the man sought medical help 11 years ago after experiencing paralysis in his facial muscles. Despite his willingness to undergo a test for HIV, a neurologist ended up cancelling that test saying the man was at no risk for this condition despite his work as a paramedic which exposed him to bodily fluids.
An internist is also said to have failed to perform an HIV test on the patient. In the end, the man now has AIDS and the opportunity to detect HIV at an earlier stage was something he never had because the proper testing was not allowed to happen.