We have been receiving an increased number of Lyme disease medical malpractice inquiries from people who have suffered serious or permanent physical and psychological injuries as a result of alleged misdiagnosis of their Lyme disease, late diagnosis of their Lyme disease, and/or the failure to timely and appropriately treat their Lyme disease. Many of these Lyme disease victims suffered severe continuing symptoms associated with their Lyme disease until they were able to find and treat with a “Lyme literate doctor” (defined by the Lyme Disease Association as “physicians who are knowledgeable about chronic Lyme disease and often about many other tick-borne diseases;” the Lyme Disease Association’s website has a link to locate Lyme literate doctors). Source
The timely and appropriate diagnosis of patients’ Lyme disease continues to stymie primary care physicians and other health care providers. The reasons for the failure of health care providers to timely diagnose and treat Lyme disease in their patients vary. Patients who are ultimately diagnosed with Lyme disease are often diagnosed as suffering from other ailments before the proper diagnosis (and hopefully proper treatment) is made. The delay in diagnosing Lyme disease can cause unnecessary suffering and disability in patients with Lyme disease. Many patients who suffer what is commonly referred to as “chronic Lyme disease” (more properly referred to as “Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” (PTLDS)) often blame their health care providers for their continuing symptoms.
The CDC has provided physicians and other clinical practitioners with the “Two-tier Testing Decision Tree” that sets forth the steps required to properly test for Lyme disease. The first required test is the Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) or Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA). If this test yields negative results, the provider should consider an alternative diagnosis; or in cases where the patient has had symptoms for less than or equal to 30 days, the provider may treat the patient and follow up with a convalescent serum. If the first test yields positive or equivocal results, two options are available: 1) If the patient has had symptoms for less than or equal to 30 days, an IgM Western Blot is performed; 2) if the patient has had symptoms for more than 30 days, the IgG Western Blot is performed. The IgM should not be used if the patient has been ill for more than 30 days. The CDC’s Two-tier Testing Decision Tree can be viewed by clicking here.
While many medical malpractice lawyers throughout the United States are competent to represent Lyme disease patients who have claims against health care providers who may have been negligent in diagnosing and/or treating Lyme disease in their patients, causing those patients to suffer serious injuries or other harms that would have been avoided (or would have been less severe) if the timely diagnosis and proper treatment of Lyme disease had been made, finding medical malpractice lawyers with prior experience with Lyme disease medical malpractice claims may be desirable (nonetheless, many medical malpractice lawyers can “come up to speed” regarding Lyme disease through their medical consultants and/or medical and legal research).
We have experience in speaking with many medical malpractice lawyers throughout the United States who have experience and knowledge regarding Lyme disease medical malpractice claims.
If you have a possible Lyme disease claim and desire to speak with a local Lyme literate lawyer, visit our website by clicking here or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with Lyme literate lawyers in your state who may be able to assist you with your Lyme disease claim.
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