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Failure to diagnose TB left man wheelchair bound

What began as a backache in June 2012 rapidly degraded to paralysis by Jan. 2013. A man claims that doctors incorrectly diagnosed his condition despite several opportunities to discover what was wrong with him. It may not surprise many Oregon readers that he ultimately filed a lawsuit alleging that their failure to diagnose his condition properly led to him being bound to a wheelchair.

The 26-year-old man endured numerous doctor visits. In Sept. 2012, he even spent 10 days in the hospital while doctors attempted to determine what caused his pain. In Jan. 2013, he was sent to a rheumatologist. He was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and given a shot of a medication called HUMIRA. Soon after, the patient was paralyzed. 

In late Jan. 2013, he was transferred to another hospital where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and treatment commenced. During all of the previous doctor visits at the other hospital, he had more than one TB test; all of the results were negative. The medication given to him by the rheumatologist when he incorrectly diagnosed the man is not recommended for patients with TB. According to a July 2012 headline, there was an unpublicized outbreak of TB in Central Florida, which is where the man lived when his back pain began.

He claims that the misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, the medication he was given and the failure to diagnose him with TB from the outset led to his paralysis. He claims to have incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and his damages could reach into the millions. As would be the case here in Oregon, if the court determines that negligence led to his medical condition, he could be awarded the damages he seeks.

Source: orlandosentinel.com, "Paralyzed man sues Orlando Health, other providers over TB misdiagnosis", Naseem S. Miller, July 22, 2015

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