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Medical malpractice for misdiagnosed tick disease could rise

Securing the correct diagnosis in as timely a manner as possible is part of the key to reaching a successful recovery. California patients rely on doctors to make a fair and accurate assessment of all symptoms before reaching a conclusion concerning their diagnosis, but this is not always the reality which patients confront. Overlooking obvious symptoms or ignoring relevant information can help fuel misdiagnoses and constitute medical malpractice.

Although it is not exactly tick season just yet, the warmer than average winter temperatures have caused some areas to experience a surge in tick-borne illnesses. Lyme disease, the most commonly thought tick-related disease, is already misdiagnosed at an alarmingly high rate, but tick bite sufferers may have even more to worry about. When a diagnosis of Lyme disease is rendered for someone who was bit by a tick, it still might not be the correct diagnosis.

Both babesiosis and anaplasmosis are tick-borne diseases that, while perhaps less common than Lyme disease, are rapidly increasing as new illnesses with which to contend. However, sufferers of these diseases face considerable risk when misdiagnosed as suffering from Lyme disease. Anaplasmosis in particular causes damage to the heart, lungs and other organs. It also does not display the rash that is commonly associated with Lyme disease and can be extremely fatal.

Misdiagnoses are often avoidable tragedies. When California doctors fail to commit the right amount of care and attention to patients and the details of their symptoms, it can lead to the wrong treatments, medications and outcomes for the victim. The cost of this type of negligence is far from just physical, and the emotional and financial burdens that so often accompany a misdiagnosis can be overwhelming. Medical malpractice can be a difficult trauma to overcome, and understandably so, but it is far from impossible. For victims who successfully achieve compensation from medical malpractice suits, the road to recovery can be easier and quicker to travel.

Source:, "Two lesser-known tick diseases spike in Sussex County", Michael Tanenbaum, Dec. 27, 2015

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