If you live in Pennsylvania or any region in the upper Northeast, you are probably no stranger to ticks. These little pests may be an unwanted travel companion during your hike or outdoor activity, hitching onto your clothes or pets before attaching themselves to you.
While tick bites can be irritating, most are treatable with basic care, and may require only minimal medical assistance. However, some tick-borne illnesses, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease, can cause serious complications and leave victims with life-long health issues.
Prevalence of Lyme Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 300,000 people have Lyme disease, a serious condition that requires medical attention and monitoring to successfully control symptoms. In 2013 Pennsylvania saw 4,981 cases, a 20% increase from last year and the highest number since the CDC started recording cases in 2004. Unfortunately, thousands of people have been improperly diagnosed and have not received the correct treatment for the disease.
Lyme Disease Symptoms
In some cases, Lyme disease has a slow onset. Its symptoms may include:
- Rash – Sometimes referred to as the “bull’s eye,” a rash starting from the infected bite site can spread over the course of 30 days. The rash may not be painful or itchy.
- Joint pain – Severe swelling and pain can affect knees, shoulders, hips and fingers.
- Flu-like complications – A major part of misdiagnosis of Lyme disease, is the sudden onset of flu-like symptoms. Aches, fevers, chills and rash can all be wrongfully accredited to the flu.
- Neurological issues – Lyme disease can create symptoms similar to Bell’s palsy, meningitis or other neurological disorder.
Failure to Diagnose Lyme Disease is Common
Other complications may include severe fatigue, liver, eye and heart problems, including palpitations. It is clear that a misdiagnosis of Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses could occur, especially considering these common symptoms and the significant overlap with other illnesses.
If you have not obtained any relief from treatments that your doctor has suggested, or if you feel that you may be suffering from Lyme disease and you have been misdiagnosed, contact The Colleran Firm today and speak with one of our compassionate attorneys.
How a Philadelphia Misdiagnosis Attorney Can Help
While you may be only considering speaking with an attorney, it is important that you act quickly if you are a victim of medical malpractice. In some cases, misdiagnosed, delayed diagnosis and incorrect treatment of a condition can cause serious, life-long complications that could have been avoided if you had been correctly diagnosed, and in a timely manner. There is a statute of limitations that could affect your ability to be fairly compensated. Correct diagnosis of Lyme disease is crucial in the caring and treatment of this disease. If you have Lyme disease, and were misdiagnosed or treated for the wrong condition or illness, contact The Colleran Firm for information about your legal options.
The Colleran Firm is a family team of attorneys that strive to ensure that their clients receive caring legal assistance. Our Philadelphia practice has focused on medical malpractice claims, and we can help you determine if you have a valid case. To learn more, schedule your free consultation as soon as possible. Contact us today.