Living in a state where tickborne illnesses are possible, it’s important for medical staff to be aware of the risks and to take steps to treat patients who show signs of tick-related illnesses.
Some of the common tickborne illnesses found in Indiana and nearby states include:
- Lyme disease, which is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Human monocytic ehrlichiosis, or HME, caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis
All of these, and other, tickborne illnesses have the potential to make people fall ill. While Lyme disease is probably the most famous of these diseases, all of them have the potential to be dangerous. For example, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever begins within three to 10 days of a bite and may result in serious or fatal illness in between 13 to 25% of people when left untreated. HME, on the other hand, causes flu-like symptoms and fatigue. It can be treated with antibiotics, as can these other illnesses.
What can you do if you think you have a tickborne illness?
If you believe that you have been bitten by a tick and have one of these illnesses, try to capture the tick for identification purposes. Since only certain kinds of ticks carry each of these illnesses, that’s an important step. If you cannot capture the tick but know that you were bitten by a tick, let your medical provider know as soon as possible.
What if a medical provider misdiagnoses you?
Some of these illnesses are easier to treat with a quick diagnosis. Without a diagnosis, a condition like Lyme disease could continue to spread and cause serious problems for a patient. It’s possible, in some cases, for the complications of these illnesses to lead to death.
If you lose a loved one or suffer complications because of a delayed diagnosis, it’s important to discuss your case with your attorney. Proving medical errors or negligence will help you show that the medical provider should have known what you were sick with and provided the appropriate treatment quickly. If they failed to do their job adequately, then you may be able to seek compensation.