The Law Offices of John Phebus

Failures to diagnose Lyme disease a big problem

Many people in Arizona and throughout the country suffer from Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that is often misdiagnosed. Even when the illness itself is correctly diagnosed, co-occurring infections such as Bartonella are often still not diagnosed or treated.

A major issue with Lyme disease is that it is treatable when the infection has not been present in the body for very long. However, when the diagnosis is delayed, it becomes much more difficult to treat. Some people become permanently disabled, and others may die because of complications relating to the disease's progression.

Untreated Lyme disease can turn into a chronic illness, leaving people suffering for the balance of their lives. At the same time, doctors who focus on diagnosing and treating Lyme disease are often maligned by their peers. Since the symptoms are similar to other illnesses, doctors sometimes believe patients are malingering, not believing the symptoms are real. Delayed diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease can result in permanent damage to the sufferer's joints and organs, sometimes leading to heart failure or being permanently confined to a wheelchair.

When a failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis leads to a permanent injury or a worsened condition, the harmed patient may be a victim of medical malpractice. People who file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician who failed to properly diagnose them may be able to recover financial awards that are designed to make them whole again. People may want to seek a consultation with medical malpractice attorney so that they can learn about the procedures and the filing requirements that are involved with this type of litigation.

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