Montana residents may be interested in the recent case of a Boston man's prolonged battle with Lyme disease. Surprisingly, the biggest problem was not the disease itself but rather the difficult of diagnosing the disease. A variety of problems caused what would have been a relatively simple treatment to become a 10-month ordeal that left the man in terrible pain and with additional health problems caused by incorrect treatments.
As with all cases of Lyme disease, the story began with a tick bite. It quickly developed into a distinctive rash, and the man began to feel many of the common symptoms, including fever, headaches and delirium. The unfortunate aspect of Lyme disease is that its symptoms are often passed off as some other problem. The tests for the disease used in the U.S. test for only an infection from a single tick species. A test that can identify infections from multiple species of ticks currently only exists in Europe. The man's treatment was delayed due to difficulty interpreting the test results. Eventually, he did get the correct antibiotics and recovered, but this happened only after much pain and suffering.
The man's case also points out several instances of serious medical negligence that occur frequently with Lyme disease and other hard-to-diagnose illnesses. The man suffered because proper tests were not available.
When such an incidence occurs, a patient has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The lawsuit can be filed against the medical staff, hospitals or related parties that contributed to additional unnecessary pain and suffering or expense. In addition to financial compensation, a lawsuit of this type can also spur needed change in the healthcare industry.
Source: Medical Daily, "Man's 10-Month Lyme Disease Stint Exposes Holes, Confusion With Treating It In The US", Anthony Rivas, July 08, 2014