Medical malpractice claims and lawsuits in New Mexico are based on an array of different types of healthcare negligence. High on the proverbial list of underlying causes of medical malpractice in New Mexico and across the country are claims based on failure to diagnose/misdiagnose.
Prevalence of medical errors in the United States
In advance of diving deeper into the issue of failure to diagnose/misdiagnose, a consideration of the prevalence of medical errors overall is illustrative and important. The rate of medical errors occurring in New Mexico is comparable to that found in the country as a whole.
Perhaps the most stunning, even shocking statistic is that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States at this juncture in time. Medical errors account for over 250,000 deaths in the US annually. This cause of death is only outpaced by heart disease and cancer.
Failure to diagnose/misdiagnose as basis of medical malpractice
Each and every year, millions of Americans and tens of thousands of New Mexicans visit their healthcare providers in need of medical assistance. Out of the full number of outpatient diagnoses made each year in the country, an alarming 12 million patients are misdiagnosed.
The failure to diagnose appropriately as well as an unreasonable delay in making a proper diagnosis can and does have devastating consequences. A person who doesn’t receive a timely, correct diagnosis can face a worsening of his or her medical condition. Moreover, a misdiagnosed patient can die.
In summary, of the 12 million people misdiagnosed each year, half of that group are said to suffer serious medical consequences as a result of that medical negligence. This includes people who unnecessarily die because they did not obtain an appropriate diagnosis of their medical condition in a reasonably timely and appropriate manner.