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Harm by "Lyme literate medical doctors” investigated


Consumer Health Digest #20-40
October 11, 2020

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H
., with help from Stephen Barrett, M.D
. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making. Its primary focus is on health, but occasionally it includes non-health scams and practical tips.

Harm by "Lyme literate medical doctors” investigated

An investigation of government documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveals that physicians at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have (a) tracked dozens of reports of significant harm including several deaths that were the direct consequence of procedures ordered or administered by so-called Lyme-literate medical doctors (LLMDs), (b) become aware of malpractice allegations at a constellation of private clinics, and (c) noted that the LLMDs who've been reprimanded have tended to face few professional repercussions.
[Gellman L. Dubious alternative Lyme treatments are killing patients
. Bloomberg Businessweek, Oct 9, 2020]
 A 2017 CDC report discussed five patients who had been given a Lyme diagnosis, sometimes without evidence, by doctors who recommended unproven, long-term IV treatments via a central-line catheter, which became the site of a life-threatening infection.
[Marzec NS and others. Serious bacterial infections acquired during treatment of patients given a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease—United States
. MMWR 66:607-609, 2017]
Most LLMDs offer a variety of dubious "alternative" treatments. Quackwatch
and LymeScience
 provide additional background about their activities.


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Consumer Advocate
287 Fearrington Post
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Telephone: (919) 533-6009

http://www.quackwatch.org (health fraud and quackery)


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