Balzarini & Watson
Local: 412-471-1200
Toll Free: 866-316-2111
Home and Hospital Visits / Contingency Fee BasisFreeConsultation

Over 135 Years of Combined Experience In Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Failure to diagnose tick-borne illness could lead to death

The failure to timely diagnose a tick-borne illness may lead to severe injuries or even death. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a tick-borne illness caused by the Rickettsia rickettsia bacteria, and cases have been found in Pennsylvania and throughout North and South America.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other tick-borne diseases are a year-round threat, but they are especially dangerous in the summer when many people head outdoors for camping, hiking and other activities where ticks may be present. Several types of ticks can carry the dangerous bacteria and spread it through bites. The prevalence of tick-borne diseases has only increased over the years as both the tick and human populations grow.

This disease can be challenging to diagnose. Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can include fever, headache, spotted rashes, vomiting, nausea, pain, loss of appetite and pink eye infections. Many people are unaware that they may have received a tick bite.

A diagnostic blood test will return a positive result after seven days following exposure. However, treatment for the disease is most effective when administered in the first five days of symptoms, and the disease can be fatal in as few as eight days. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever damages the lining of blood vessels, causing vasculitis. Vasculitis can cause blood clots, internal bleeding, organ damage and death.

This means that a doctor's judgment can be critical in correctly diagnosing and treating Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a timely manner. Some factors that can point to the disease include low platelet counts, low sodium concentration or elevated liver enzymes. A missed or delayed diagnosis in the case of this disease could cause a great deal of harm, and a failure to diagnose the disease can in some cases constitute medical malpractice. An attorney representing a patient who has been harmed in such a manner will need to demonstrate that the error constituted a failure by the practitioner to exhibit the requisite standard of care.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information