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Failure to Diagnose Bowel Perforation or Bowel Obstruction
Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Failure to Diagnose Bowel Perforation or Obstruction Claims
If you or a loved one suffered from an undiagnosed bowel obstruction or perforation, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience serving those who have been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and will fight for you to receive fair compensation from your medical malpractice case.
What is a Bowel Perforation?
The digestive tract performs many functions like storing waste in the bowel at the end of the digestive tract. When the bowel is obstructed and nothing is able to pass through, this may be caused by bowel perforation or bowel obstruction. A perforated bowel is the result of a tear or hole in the colon. The most common causes of bowel perforation are trauma to the digestive tract or a bowel-related illness. Failure to diagnose bowel obstructions can also lead to bowel perforation.
What is a Bowel Obstruction?
A bowel obstruction can occur due to intestinal blockage in the large or small intestine caused by a digestive disease, surgery, diet, or trauma. The obstruction can either partially or fully prevent the passage of fluids and digested foods. When a bowel obstruction occurs, things buildup behind the blockage, such as food, fluids, gastric acid, and gas. If enough builds up, your intestine can rupture, causing harmful intestinal contents and bacteria to leak into your abdominal cavity.
What Causes a Perforated Bowel?
There are several ways that your bowel can become perforated. When a hole is created by itself in your colon, this perforation is due to a condition such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Other medical conditions associated with bowel perforation are peptic ulcer disease (PUD), gallbladder disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, and cancer. Perforated bowels can also be created when a medical procedure is performed near the digestive tract and a hole is accidentally created. Other causes of perforated bowels can stem from a severe injury that directly impacts the colon, like a kick, gunshot, or knife wound.
What Causes Bowel Obstruction?
Bowel obstructions can be caused in many ways. Often, the condition that caused the bowel obstruction cannot be prevented. Depending on the severity of the obstruction, you may or may not need surgery. If the bowel obstruction is partial, you might be able to avoid surgery and just receive medical treatment. Surgery is likely required if the bowel obstruction is a complete blockage.
A bowel obstruction can either be mechanical or nonmechanical. Mechanical obstruction is when something is physically blocking your intestinal tract. Mechanical obstruction in your small intestine can be due to adhesions, volvulus, intussusception, malformations of the intestines, tumors, gallstones, hernias, or inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease. Mechanical obstructions in the colon, or large intestine, are not as common but can still occur. This can be caused by stool stuck in your rectum, adhesions from a pelvic infection, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, volvulus, intussusception, diverticulitis, or stricture.
A nonmechanical bowel obstruction is caused when the coordinated systems of the small and large intestines are interrupted. This can be a temporary condition, known as ileus, or a long-term condition called pseudo-obstruction. Abdominal or pelvic surgery, infections, some medications, or electrolyte imbalances can cause an ileus. Nerve and muscle disorders and hypothyroidism can also cause pseudo-obstruction.
Perforated Bowel Symptoms
An undiagnosed perforated bowel can be life-threatening. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Change in bowel movements
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Body chills
Obstructed Bowel Symptoms
Bowel obstructions can present themselves by way of many different symptoms:
- Severe bloating
- Abdominal pain
- Lack of appetite
- Severe cramps
- Abdominal swelling
- Inability to pass gas or stool
The symptoms of bowel obstructions vary depending on the length and location of the obstruction. When bowel obstruction causes a serious infection in your abdominal cavity, it’s called peritonitis. This happens when a portion of your bowel ruptures, leading to fever and intense abdominal pain. Failure to diagnose peritonitis can lead to death.
Can I Sue for Undiagnosed Bowel Perforation or Bowel Obstruction?
The failure to diagnose bowel obstruction or bowel perforation can result in sepsis, which can be life threatening when left untreated. If a doctor ignores the signs and symptoms of bowel obstruction and does not administer proper treatment, the bowel can become perforated. Although a bowel perforation may sometimes be a known complication of certain medical procedures, the failure to recognize and take quick action to repair the perforation can lead to serious and life threatening consequences. Once the bowel is perforated, sepsis can occur due to the release of toxins. If left untreated, sepsis can lead to organ’s malfunctioning and even wrongful death.
As such, you can pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit if you or a loved one suffered from the failure to diagnose and treat a bowel obstruction or perforation. Once liability has been established, you could receive damages that can cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Ohio and Northern Kentucky Medical Malpractice Attorneys for Injuries Due to Bowel Obstruction or Perforation
The attorneys at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm have handled medical malpractice cases for decades. When pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can count on our attorneys to be with you every step of the way. Call our Ohio and Northern Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about the potential of your case.
You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!
We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.