The Importance of the Early Detection and Treatment of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease season in New York is expected to be the worst ever according to experts. As reported by CBS New York, there has been a population explosion of the white-footed mice that host the Lyme-carrying ticks. The early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease is critical in terms of overall patient health and curability. It is expected that over 300,000 people will get Lyme disease this year as a result of a tick bite. Of course, there are measure to be taken to prevent tick-bites including clothing choices and tick-repellant. If you are bitten by a tick, and have the classic symptoms such as a bulls-eye rash and flu-like symptoms, the best course is to consult a doctor immediately,

The standard of care for doctors treating Lyme disease is a course of antibiotics, with the most common being doxycycline, of the tetracycline class. The antibiotic is quite effective and easy to take, assuming the correct diagnosis is made. Unfortunately, early treatment is not always started because the doctor fails to notice the rash or appreciate the other symptoms associated with Lyme disease. Under these circumstances, Lyme disease can become a chronic infection with lasting effects including Bell’s palsy, where you have partial paralysis of a facial muscle, arthritis and impaired concentration. A doctor who fails to appreciate the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease may be civilly liable for medical malpractice.

Doctors have an obligation to follow certain protocols when diagnosing a patient. When doctors fail to follow the accepted process of the medical community, and misdiagnose a patient, they can be found liable for any additional damage that occurs. Doctors can be found liable if they did any of the following and further injury or sickness occurred:

  • Failed to Order the Proper Tests: A physician must order the proper tests for all symptoms their patients experience. If a patient becomes sicker because the physician didn’t order the right tests for certain symptoms, they may have grounds for a lawsuit. For instance, if a doctor sees a child for a high fever and earache and prescribes basic antibiotics without testing for meningitis, he may be found liable if the child does, in fact, have meningitis.
  • The Doctor Failed to Check Symptoms in the Proper Order: Doctors must examine their patient’s symptoms in order of severity. If a patient comes in complaining of pain in their chest and foot, the doctor’s responsibility would be to check what is wrong with the chest first; the reason being that chest pain may be the symptom of a more severe illness. Doctors may be liable if they failed to examine the patient’s chest first and they suffer an injury due to an issue with their heart.
  • The Doctor Misdiagnosed an Illness or Injury: Physicians may be found liable if they misdiagnose an injury or illness and it results in further sickness. For instance if a doctor misdiagnoses chest pain as acid indigestion, when in fact the patient has heart disease, they may be liable if the patient gets sicker.

How Can a Misdiagnosis Attorney Help You?

Injured patients who are considering a lawsuit against their doctor should seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. A good lawyer can help patients identify what went wrong and whether they have a valid claim. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our attorneys have an efficient process for handling potential claims for misdiagnoses and failure to diagnose. We interview the victims to find out the circumstances surrounding their sickness. Our lawyers will then perform an investigation and have top medical experts review the injured patient’s medical records. While our attorneys can’t guarantee that injured patients will have a valid case, we can find our patients answers.

If you or someone you love has suffered a sickness or injury that you believe may have been caused by a misdiagnosis or a doctor’s failure to diagnose, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. For a free review of your legal options, call 212-406-1700 or contact us online. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will review your case to see how our medical malpractice attorneys may be able to assist you.