Many New Yorkers are treated for Lyme disease each year. Some of them do not even require such treatment because their condition has been misdiagnosed. This can result in patients paying for medical care they do not need, while at the same time not being able to obtain the treatment they actually require.
The two main ways that are used to check for Lyme disease are a blood test and a Western blot test. A positive result on either of these tests merely indicates that an individual has been exposed to Lyme disease at some point or another. Even if a person has recovered from the disease or the exposure was a long time ago, he or she may still test positive. Further testing and evaluation is needed to determine if a patient’s symptoms are due to Lyme disease or are stemming from another condition altogether.
Often, the additional testing that is required to confirm a diagnosis never takes place. Instead, doctors ask patients to begin treatment for Lyme disease, and may continue providing it for months or even years if an individual does not show signs of improvement. Many experience a worsened medical condition, and some patients might also develop other complications as a result of taking unnecessary medication for prolonged periods.
A misdiagnosis can result in in serious harm to a patient. While the actual problem continues, the patient can suffer a worsened medical condition, requiring aggressive and expensive treatment once a proper diagnosis is made. People who have been harmed in such a manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal recourse may be available.