It is difficult to pinpoint the number of people who contract Lyme disease each year. According to the CDC website, estimates vary between 300,000 and 476,000 persons. Even with this disparity in the cases of Lyme disease, it is obvious this affliction takes a toll on many patients. The outcome for each case differs widely, often depending on how quickly medical practitioners diagnose and treat the condition. If you suffer from debilitating, long-term effects of Lyme disease and believe your issues are the result of misdiagnosis, improper treatment or medical malpractice, contact the offices of Ronemus & Vilensky. You can receive a free consultation with experienced medical malpractice lawyers to help determine if you should pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Lyme Disease Diagnosis
Initially, a medical professional usually diagnoses the condition based on the person’s symptoms of Lyme disease and the likelihood the patient was conducting activities in an area where exposure could occur. If you have familiarity with Lyme infections, you probably know it is caused by the bite of a small tick, and one of the classic signs is a red rash at the site with concentric circles around it. This is often referred to as a “bulls-eye” rash and occurs in roughly 70 to 80% of those infected by the black-legged tick. Other early-onset symptoms may include lethargy and fatigue, fever and chills, muscle aches and pains and even swollen lymph nodes. Although it is possible for doctors to test for Lyme disease, these assessments usually check the blood for antibodies, which can take some time to develop.
Possibilities for Misdiagnosis
Unfortunately, a number of other health conditions share some of the same signs of Lyme disease, which sometimes causes a doctor to incorrectly diagnose the infection. Disorders with similar symptoms may include:
- Multiple sclerosis
The dangerous result of making wrong determinations is the delay in administering antibiotics to cure the Lyme infection.
Importance of Early Diagnosis and Treatment
The key to treating Lyme disease successfully and quickly helping patients back to a full recovery depends on administering an appropriate antibiotic treatment as soon as possible after infection occurs. This makes it imperative that the doctor correctly evaluates the symptoms of the patient and prescribes the correct antibiotics for treatment. If the infection is not diagnosed and treated correctly, patients may develop more severe manifestations of the disease, Lyme complications may occur and victims may suffer chronic conditions for years.
A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
Persons with long-range effects of improperly diagnosed and treated Lyme disease can receive expert advice and assistance from experienced lawyers at Ronemus & Vilensky. Contact us online today or phone an attorney at 212-779-7070.