Patients Seeking Lyme Disease Cures Struggle for Answers
The CDC estimates that every year, there are nearly 30,000 new reported cases of Lyme disease. That number may actually be quite higher. Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose without the characteristic “bulls-eye” rash and can go untreated for months before doctors properly diagnose the disease. Most patients will fully recover after a 2- to 4-week course of antibiotics. But not all of them will. Some will face symptoms for months and even years after the antibiotic treatment.
For those who face symptoms after the antibiotic treatment, there is usually no secondary treatment that doctors can prescribe. This has opened up a doorway into pseudoscience where so-called Lyme-literate medical doctors offer their solutions.
Lyme-Literate Medical Doctors (LLMD)
Since there is reportedly no treatment for post-Lyme disease syndrome, patients are left searching for solutions of their own. Today, the health department estimates that there are at least 500 LLMDs.
Many who have discussed their post-Lyme disease syndrome with LLMDs say that they were misdiagnosed with Lyme disease syndrome even when there was another treatable cause. They further allege that LLMDs provide pseudoscientific and New Age treatments such as ozone therapy, vitamin supplements, and in some cases, a longer course of antibiotics.
In 2017, the CDC published a report concerning LLMDs and cases in which patients were injured or even killed by therapies recommended by LLMDs. In one case, a patient sought out an LLMD who prescribed IV treatments. The catheter became infected
Legislators Want to Protect LLMDs from Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
While cases of patients being injured by unproven treatments are concerning, there are many who want to protect LLMDs from medical malpractice lawsuits. In most cases, medical malpractice cases against LLMDs are settled. In some cases, LLMDs advanced ideas that were reportedly in direct contradiction to recommendations made by the CDC.
A Case Study
One patient approached an LLMD after he said she was complaining of symptoms for 12 years. The doctor recommended infusion treatments so he installed a port in her chest. Later, the port had to be replaced because it had become clogged. Over the next few days, the port became infected. A few days later, she began experiencing flu-like symptoms. She later collapsed in her bathroom. Though she continued receiving infusion treatments, she collapsed again. Her daughter found her on the floor. She had contracted the notoriously untreatable hospital-borne illness MRSA. She died a few days later.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in St. Petersburg
If you’ve been injured by the negligent practice of medicine, call the St. Petersburg medical malpractice attorneys at Masterson, Hoag & Smith today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.