A good argument for Personal Health Records (PHRs)

The facts of this case (Woman Misdiagnosed With HIV Gets Millions) are unclear. It may be Munchausen’s syndrome, with the woman claiming falsely to have AIDS, or a sloppy doctor who didn’t bother to check the old records, or both.  In any event, it is a good argument for thorough, portable, personal health records.

A jury awarded $2.5 million in damages Wednesday to a woman who received  HIV treatments for almost nine years before discovering she never actually had  the virus that causes AIDS.

In her lawsuit against a doctor who treated her, Audrey Serrano said the  powerful combination of drugs she took triggered a string of ailments,  including depression, chronic fatigue, loss of weight and appetite and  inflammation of the intestine.

[Dr.] Lai testified last week that Serrano told her she had worked as a  prostitute, her partner had AIDS, and that she had suffered three bouts of a  type of pneumonia typically associated with those infected by the virus.

Serrano has denied she had ever been a prostitute. She confirmed that  her former boyfriend tested positive for HIV/AIDS, but disputed the claim that  she told the doctor that she had suffered bouts of Pneumocystis pneumonia.

Lai testified that she had no reason to question Serrano’s original  diagnosis at another clinic because Serrano convinced her she had HIV when she  took her personal history, and her blood had abnormal amounts of cells used to  fight infections.

Thanks to Mickey.

December 13, 2007

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