Some New Jersey residents might have Lyme disease and not even know it. According to medical professionals, the condition can mimic other conditions and be difficult to diagnose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost 300,000 people contract Lyme disease, which is transmitted through tick bites, each year. Symptoms of the disease can include skin rashes, headaches, fatigue and fever, but some people don’t present with these symptoms. The symptoms are also common to many other conditions, including the flu, making it easy for patients to believe they have something else. Finally, doctors must confirm that a tick bite occurred before they can conclusively diagnose Lyme disease, but some patients don’t know or don’t remember they’ve been bitten, slowing down the diagnosis process. If the disease is left untreated, patients can eventually suffer heart problems, issues with their nervous system and joint pain.
One patient who was misdiagnosed was an Ohio nurse who suffered joint pain, headaches, fatigue and fevers for 15 years before learning she had Lyme disease. Another patient, a 10-year-old Cincinnati boy, suffered from sore throats and stomach pains for a year, being misdiagnosed with strep throat and mononucleosis along the way. He finally recovered after doctors realized he had Lyme disease and treated him with antibiotics.
Doctors who fail to properly diagnose Lyme disease might be held legally liable in court. With the help of a lawyer, patients may gather medical records and other evidence to prove that the doctor did not provide the standard of care and use it as the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If the suit is successful, a patient might receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and more. Patients may learn more by contacting a personal injury law firm for advice.