Medical malpractice in New Mexico takes a variety of forms. One type that is unfortunately quite common is a failure to diagnose in a proper or timely manner a particular illness, disease or condition. A failure to diagnose properly can have serious and sometimes deadly consequences.
Duty of a physician to make a diagnosis in a reasonable manner
A doctor in New Mexico is not legally required to have a proverbial “perfect track record” when it comes to diagnosing a patient’s malady. Rather, a physician has a legal duty to adhere to a reasonable standard of care. A legally actionable failure to diagnose occurs when a physician fails to undertake a reasonable effort to properly diagnosis a patient.
Challenges of making a diagnosis
A medical reality is that some illnesses, diseases and conditions to not lend themselves to a ready diagnosis. Some maladies are far more challenging to identify and diagnose than are others. This reality is taken into consideration when a doctor’s duty to exercise reasonable care in making a proper diagnosis is examined.
Common conditions that are not diagnosed in a timely manner
There are a good many different illnesses, diseases and conditions that are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed in a timely manner. Among those that more frequently end up on the list are:
- Ovarian cancer
- Sleep apnea
As it stands, an unknown number of women in the United States are believed to be afflicted with undiagnosed ovarian cancer at any given time. More than a million people are thought to have undiagnosed glaucoma, and it is estimated that between 23 and 24 million individuals likely have undiagnosed sleep apnea.