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False diagnoses of Lyme disease are common in the U.S.

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2015 | Failure To Diagnose

There is a wide variety of serious illnesses that have symptoms which mimic other medical conditions. Whether flu symptoms end up being a dangerous infection, or mild chronic pain turns out to signal a more serious disease, it can be devastating to Massachusetts patients if a medical condition is not accurately diagnosed and treated. In fact, a delay in diagnosis may be debilitating or life-threatening for many people.

Lyme disease is a prime example of a serious illness that is often mistaken for another condition. This chronic bacterial infection originates from a bite by a deer tick. The most common symptoms during the disease’s early stages, including headache, joint pain and tiredness, may be mistaken for numerous other conditions. It is not uncommon for doctors to diagnose someone with Lyme disease with a different condition, such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. These conditions are treated differently than Lyme disease – in fact, if Lyme is not treated as soon as possible with antibiotics, the results may be fatal.

On the other hand, some medical experts say that numerous laboratories in the United States often diagnose patients with false positive results for Lyme disease. A false positive may be just as harmful as a false negative, possibly leading to the delayed treatment of a number of serious conditions that have the same symptoms as Lyme.

A doctor’s failure to make an accurate diagnosis of any illness may result in a worsened condition or have fatal results. Patients who were harmed by a medical mistake may wish to seek compensation for their expenses and other losses.

Source: Calgary Herald, “Doctors warn of false positives in U.S. testing for Lyme disease,” Colette Derworiz, Aug. 31, 2015