People in Texas, particularly those with human immunodeficiency virus, may miss out on timely treatment if they develop bronchiectasis. A study of HIV patients who also had bronchiectasis revealed that they experienced significant delays in getting an accurate diagnosis. Researchers looking at the medical records for study subjects discovered that they received treatments for other lung diseases like fungal pneumonia, bacterial infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Medical records indicated that the majority of these patients were not sent to pulmonary specialists until they had been sick for a long time. Being misdiagnosed with other lung conditions or receiving a late diagnosis of bronchiectasis denied the patients opportunities for appropriate treatments, such as bronchodilator therapy. Many of the patients instead received antibiotic treatments that could negatively impact the normal bacteria that live on respiratory tissues.

Other problems identified by researchers involved communication problems. Lung scans often did not reach primary health care providers, which reduced the chances that patients would get referrals to pulmonary specialists. The researchers acknowledged that the vague symptoms of bronchiectasis made diagnosis difficult, but their findings suggested that health care professionals were frequently failing to detect the disease.

The negligence of health care professionals or institutions might enable a victim of medical harm to pursue financial damages. Medical cases, however, must meet strict legal standards due to the complex and sometimes uncertain nature of practicing medicine. A case evaluation by an attorney may help a person determine if medical malpractice occurred. An attorney’s investigation might include consulting independent physicians to gather evidence about medical mistakes for an insurance claim or lawsuit against the medical provider. During this process, a person may ask an attorney to organize information about financial harm to use as the basis for negotiating a settlement.