Failure to diagnose and medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2021 | Blog, Failure To Diagnose

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
  • Glaucoma
  • 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.


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