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Man files suit for TB misdiagnoses that may have led to paralysis

A man from a state other than Illinois recently sued over a dozen health care professionals after they allegedly failed to properly diagnose him. As a result, he is now paralyzed from his waist down. It is his belief that multiple misdiagnoses led to the paralysis.

The 26-year-old began to experience back pain in the summer of 2012. He began visiting doctors to treat the back pain. He even stayed in the hospital for 10 days in September. In Jan. 2013, he visited a rheumatologist.

He was eventually diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The rheumatologist provided him with a HUMIRA shot, which cannot be given to a patient that has tuberculosis. Not long after receiving this shot, he experienced numbness below his waist. He went to the emergency room and received a diagnosis of complete paraplegia. The doctor who saw him said that an unlikely cause of the paraplegia was an infectious disease.

He ended up being transferred to another hospital where he was finally diagnosed with TB. He also began taking TB medication at the end of Jan. 2013. The doctors at this hospital said there was no reason to believe that the man had RA as there were no signs that pointed to such a condition.

All of the doctors that the man saw prior to his TB diagnosis claim that the tuberculosis tests came back as negative, and that issue will now be one focus of the pending litigation. Reportedly, the wheel-chair bound man must now live with his aunt, and he claims the misdiagnoses have accounted for over $500,000 in medical expenses. In circumstances where Illinois patients have suffered greatly as a result of an alleged misdiagnosis, it may be possible to pursue a legal claim to seek restitution for medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and other documented monetary damages.

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

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