Lyme Disease Misdiagnosis Leads to Serious Health ComplicationsJuly 23, 2019
A common misconception about Lyme disease is that you will immediately develop a bulls-eye rash or flu-like symptoms if you are bitten by a disease-carrying tick. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, those who develop these symptoms are lucky because they will likely get treated before the disease has a chance to wreak havoc on the person’s body. This is exactly what happened to a woman from New England, who realized she had been bitten by a tick, but since she never developed the tell-tale rash, or flu-like symptoms, she assumed she was fine. When her health started to rapidly decline, her primary care physician tested her for Lyme disease, but the tests came back negative. It took over a year before she was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease, but not before she suffered a wide range of debilitating symptoms.
The first symptoms, which appeared several weeks after being bitten by a tick, included shortness of breath and severe chest pain. She was prescribed medication for heartburn, which provided no relief. Her primary care physician then told her that she had a viral infection and that the symptoms would pass. They did not. She had her first Lyme disease test, which came back negative, so the doctor ruled out that disease, and the patient had no reason to question the doctor’s diagnosis.
Misdiagnosis Allows Symptoms to Persist
Over the next several months, new symptoms appeared, and specialists attempted to offer a diagnosis. A rheumatologist diagnosed her chest pain as costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage of the rib cage. After experiencing stiffness in the neck and numbness and tingling in her hands, a neurologist diagnosed her with carpal tunnel syndrome. After she continued to experience shortness of breath, a pulmonologist confirmed that the breathing issues were related to the costochondritis. Things went from bad to worse when she experienced numbness on the right side of her face. She made an appointment with an infectious disease specialist and insisted that she be tested again for Lyme disease. Again, it came back negative.
Finally, after meeting with a prominent infectious disease doctor in Boston, he ran several tests for diseases ranging from multiple sclerosis to other autoimmune diseases. He also ran a different type of Lyme disease test called a Lyme C6 Peptide, which is known to be more accurate than others. That Lyme test came back positive. With the correct diagnosis, she was finally able to start the long road to recovery. However, the treatment caused the symptoms to become much worse. After being told by the infectious disease doctor that there was nothing more that he could do, she was desperate for help.
Fortunately, a local physician who specializes in Lyme disease reviewed her test results and started her on daily injections and oral antibiotics. Again, the symptoms worsened, but only temporarily. After eighteen months of treatment, the searing pain caused by inflammation had ceased, as well as many other symptoms, all of which could have been avoided if she was properly diagnosed when her symptoms first appeared.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Misdiagnosis
If your healthcare professional failed to properly diagnose a medical condition, causing your condition to worsen, contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.