The Law Offices of John Phebus

Being misdiagnosed with Lyme disease

Arizona residents who were diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease should be aware that misdiagnoses of this condition are increasing. Some people who have been diagnosed with this disease may not actually have it, so their health is being compromised when doctors prescribe them expensive and often dangerous treatments.

Typically, chronic Lyme disease symptoms include a skin rash with a characteristic bull's eye shape, fatigue, headaches and fever. However, some health care providers erroneously diagnose patients with chronic Lyme disease when generalized pain and neurological issues are present. Chronic Lyme disease can be a confusing term since different practitioners may use it to indicate varying conditions. For example, some doctors it as a catchall term even if there is no evidence that the patient has been infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, the actual cause of Lyme disease.

Although incorrect diagnoses of chronic Lyme disease have been made for years, they are causing growing concern as the severity and scope of available treatments have been increasing. For example, sometimes the disease is treated with intravenous antibiotic courses that can last for months with no signs of effectiveness. In some cases, these antibiotic treatments can actually result in serious medical complications that could potentially include death.

If a someone receives a misdiagnosis of Lyme disease, he or she could be given unneeded treatment that may result in serious medical complications, which may result in the need for further treatment or could even death. If there is no evidence that a patient was infected with the bacteria responsible for causing Lyme disease but was still treated for the condition, a medical malpractice attorney may help him or her file a lawsuit against the hospital that issued the misdiagnosis. A victim could potentially seek compensation for worsened health conditions and other damages.

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