The Law Offices of John Phebus

Lyme disease in Arizona and the problem of misdiagnosis

In a study conducted in May 2015, 61 percent of the respondents said that it took two years or more to obtain a correct diagnosis of their Lyme disease. Almost half said that they were misdiagnosed for 10 years or more while only 21 percent said that they were diagnosed within six months. Patients who received a delayed or misdiagnosis were often originally diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or general mood disorders. Many were also originally diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

In some cases, patients were not tested because their doctors did not believe that the condition existed in their geographical area. However, the condition exists in all 50 states and in many foreign countries. As a result, 90 percent of all patients who had the condition said that patients presenting with conditions consistent with Lyme disease should be allowed to be tested.

Although the condition can be treated if caught soon enough, complications can arise if a diagnosis is delayed. Statistics indicate that 42 percent of those with the condition had to miss work or cut back on hours. That resulted in 20 percent of those with Lyme disease receiving disability coverage from private or public insurance sources. According to the CDC, there are 300,000 case of the disease each year.

Those who are injured due to a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis may be entitled to compensation in the form of reimbursement for medical bills or other long-term care costs such as in-home nursing care or physical therapy. Those who are forced to miss work may be entitled to recover lost wages or lost future earnings. An attorney may be able to help pursue damages on behalf of a victim of this type of medical professional negligence.

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