Failure to Diagnose Bowel Obstruction
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Representing Patients in New Mexico
Gastrointestinal distress is a common ailment, and it is frequently caused by minor conditions that are treatable. In some instances, however, gastrointestinal symptoms are caused by serious issues, such as bowel obstruction. If a physician does not properly assess a patient’s symptoms and fails to diagnose bowel obstruction, it can lead to serious illnesses and injuries that could have been prevented with proper care. If you suffered harm due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose bowel obstruction, you can consult an attorney regarding the claims that you might be able to assert in pursuit of damages. The dedicated New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers at the Branch Law Firm have helped many people injured by incompetent medical care recover compensation, and we can help you fight for a fair outcome.
Harm Caused by a Failure to Diagnose Bowel Obstruction
Bowel obstructions that are not diagnosed in a timely manner often cause significant harm. Signs of bowel obstruction include diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, fever, cramping, and tenderness. Many different factors can cause bowel obstruction, but people suffering from gastrointestinal ailments such as gastric ulcers, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, and Crohn’s disease are more likely to develop obstructed bowels. Bowel obstructions require immediate treatment, which often means that a patient will need to be hospitalized and may need to undergo emergency surgery. If bowel obstructions are not treated promptly, they can cause sepsis, bowel perforation, tissue death in the bowels, kidney failure, and sometimes even death. Thus, diagnosing bowel obstruction in a timely manner is critical to maintaining patient health.
Bringing a Lawsuit After a Failure to Diagnose Bowel Obstruction
People rely on doctors to protect their health, which includes thoroughly assessing symptoms and running appropriate tests so that they can provide accurate diagnoses in a timely manner. As a result, many people harmed by a doctor’s incompetent care choose to seek compensation for their harm via a medical malpractice lawsuit. In most cases, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove that the defendant was negligent to recover damages.
In the context of medical malpractice cases in New Mexico, a plaintiff alleging negligence must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to provide care commensurate with the applicable standard, and that the defendant acted in a manner that constituted a breach of the duty. The standard of care that applies is the care that a reasonable physician in the same specialty, who practices in the same community, would provide under similar circumstances. In other words, if the standard of care dictates that a physician presented with the plaintiff’s symptoms should conduct diagnostic imaging studies, but the defendant failed to do so, this may be used as evidence that the defendant breached the standard of care. In most cases, expert testimony will be needed to explain the standard of care and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard.
The plaintiff must then establish that the defendant’s breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that he or she would not have suffered the same harm if the defendant had treated the plaintiff in compliance with the standard of care. Typically, expert testimony is also needed to establish causation in medical malpractice cases.
Retain a Skillful New Mexico Attorney
If you sustained harm due to your health care provider’s failure to diagnose bowel obstruction, you should explore your possible legal claims. The medical malpractice lawyers at the Branch Law Firm are experienced in helping people harmed by incompetent medical care pursue damages, and we can zealously advocate on your behalf. We have offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and we regularly assist people in medical malpractice cases throughout New Mexico, including in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell, Clovis, Hobbs, Los Alamos, Rio Rancho, Alamogordo, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Taos, Farmington, and Los Lunas. You can contact us via our online form or at (800) 828-4529 to set up a consultation regarding your case.