Pennsylvania residents who enjoy the great outdoors may be interested to learn that Lyme disease testing and diagnostic methods may be significantly unreliable. Some statistics indicate that laboratory testing only correctly confirms about half of all cases. One physician who specializes in diseases spread by ticks noted that early diagnosis and treatment are essential. There are approximately 300,000 cases reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year.
In a recently-published survey, only 21 percent of more than 6,000 patient respondents said they were properly diagnosed with Lyme disease within half a year of experiencing symptoms, and less than 40 percent received the right diagnoses in under 24 months. Some were even reputedly sick for decades or more. One sufferer said that even though all of the specialists they saw agreed that their symptoms matched Lyme disease, none ordered testing under the mistaken belief that their local region was free of the ailment.
More than 42 percent of individuals polled confirmed that having the disease forced them to reduce their work hours or completely give up their jobs. Almost one-fifth received some form of disability aid as a result, and a full 90 percent supported the idea of increased testing accessibility for new patients who exhibited symptoms.
A failure to diagnose an ailment can bring serious consequences for patients. When they fail to receive the correct assessments, they risk being treated for incorrect conditions. In addition to allowing their actual ailments to worsen, such events can lead to associated complications or side effects. Those who are in this position may want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine the appropriate means of seeking compensation for the medical expenses and other damages that have been sustained