Many Lyme Disease Patients Misdiagnosed

A recent national survey indicates that misdiagnosis and delays in diagnosis are common problems with Lyme disease in Connecticut and nationwide. The poll results were published by LymeDisease.org in May 2015.

Of 6,104 Lyme disease patients who participated in the survey, slightly more than 60 percent reported that they went undiagnosed for at least two years before having their symptoms correctly identified. Only 21 percent said they received a correct diagnosis within six months of becoming ill. Nearly half of the participants said they were denied a Lyme test or had it delayed because doctors claimed the disease was not in their geographical area. Around half of the respondents said they had been ill for more than 10 years, and 73 percent said they were in fair to poor health.

According to Lyme disease experts, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are critical in the prevention of long-term complications. Among the issues causing delays in diagnosis are unreliable lab testing and a misunderstanding of where Lyme disease can be contracted. Lyme disease can also mimic several other diseases, including chronic fatigue syndrome, mood disorders and fibromyalgia, which often leads to a misdiagnosis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year, 25 percent of which are children. The disease is present in all 50 states and more than 60 countries worldwide.

A misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a disease can needlessly lead to a worsened medical condition. Any Connecticut resident who has been the victim of such a medical mistake may benefit by speaking with an attorney. It may be possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the error seeking compensation for current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.