Patient Misdiagnosed as HIV-Positive Sues Maryland General Hospital Alleging Negligance
A Maryland woman on Wednesday filed suit in Baltimore Circuit Court against Maryland General Hospital, claiming that the hospital was negligent in misdiagnosing her as HIV-positive, the Baltimore Sun reports. The lawsuit, which seeks $2 million in damages, is the first by a patient since state regulators this year discovered that the hospital may have sent out several hundred inaccurate HIV and hepatitis C test results, according to the Sun (Bell, Baltimore Sun, 8/13). Maryland officials in March said that approximately 460 patients may have received incorrect test results from a lab at the hospital after personnel overrode controls in the testing equipment that indicated the results might be in error. State inspectors, who conducted interviews with hospital personnel and reviewed medical records, discovered that 10% to 15% of the HIV tests performed during a 14-month period ending in August 2003 might have produced inaccurate results (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/22).
Lawsuit 'Frivolous,' Hospital Says
Robyn Joynes-Carey said she became depressed, quit her job and had to leave a master's program at Morgan State University after her gynecologist in August 2003 told her she had tested positive for HIV based on results from the lab at Maryland General. However, hospital spokesperson Lee Kennedy in a statement said that the hospital sent Joynes-Carey's doctor a report that gave the HIV-positive test result but warned the doctor that the test was only an initial screening and that further testing would be conducted by an outside lab to confirm the results, which is standard procedure for HIV testing. Although the hospital cannot disclose the results of the test, it said that the second set of test results were sent to Joynes-Carey's doctor by August 2003. "At no time did MGH ever diagnose Ms. Joynes-Carey as having HIV," Kennedy said, adding that the lawsuit is "frivolous" (Baltimore Sun, 8/13).