Appendicitis is a severe medical emergency that requires immediate attention. If left untreated, it can cause the appendix to burst, potentially resulting in life-threatening complications such as peritonitis and sepsis.
A doctor’s failure to properly diagnose appendicitis could lead to a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico. Medical malpractice claims arise when a healthcare provider’s negligence causes injury or results in a patient’s death.
If you or someone you love suffered harm due to an appendicitis misdiagnosis, please contact the skilled New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers at Poulos & Coates.
In the meantime, read on to learn more about the scenarios that could lead to a malpractice claim in New Mexico due to misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or other forms of negligence.
Misdiagnosis of Appendicitis
A misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare professional inaccurately identifies the patient’s medical condition. A misdiagnosis can lead to improper treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment.
Misdiagnosing appendicitis can have severe consequences, including the risk of a life-threatening abdominal infection.
Consider an example where a doctor diagnoses a patient with a stomach bug instead of appendicitis. The patient’s appendix subsequently ruptures.
That patient may very likely have a malpractice claim against the doctor. To prove medical malpractice, the patient must establish that the misdiagnosis directly led to the ruptured appendix and that a reasonably competent doctor would have diagnosed the condition correctly under the same circumstances.
Failure to Diagnose
Failure to diagnose refers to a healthcare professional not identifying the proper medical condition or delaying the diagnosis, resulting in harm to the patient.
For instance, someone goes to the doctor with symptoms consistent with appendicitis, and the doctor dismisses the signs as minor without conducting appropriate tests. The patient may have a malpractice claim if their appendix ruptures.
Negligent treatment refers to medical treatment that falls below the accepted standard of care. It could be anything, such as:
- Improperly performing a medical procedure,
- Leaving a surgical object inside,
- Administering the wrong dosage or type of medication, and
- Failing to provide proper follow-up care.
In the context of a ruptured appendix, if a doctor in New Mexico negligently performs an appendectomy, causing further harm to the patient, the patient may have a malpractice claim.
Why You Need a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Pursuing a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico is complex. Negotiating appendicitis malpractice settlements requires a skilled legal advocate who understands the New Mexico Medical Malpractice Act.
New Mexico law requires you to submit your claim to the Medical Review Commission first. This panel is a group of impartial medical professionals who decide whether your claim meets the criteria for filing a malpractice suit.
If they rule against you, you can still file a lawsuit. However, their opinion will become evidence during litigation.
Contact a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Poulos & Coates
If you had appendicitis and feel your medical provider acted negligently, whether through misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, please get in touch with a medical malpractice lawyer at Poulos & Coates.
We’ve devoted our practice to helping victims of medical malpractice seek justice. We have a doctor and nurse on staff who will help evaluate your claim and build a strong case.
Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us help you fight for the compensation you deserve in an appendicitis misdiagnosis case.