Your gastrointestinal system leads from one end to the other of your body and is extremely important for daily functioning. When one thing goes wrong, the outcomes can be devastating. One of those things is a gastrointestinal perforation (bowel perforation or ruptured bowel). It can happen in the large intestine or small intestine.
A perforated bowel is a serious medical emergency. While we recognize that there are many natural causes for a bowel perforation, there are also times when a doctor or surgeon’s negligence causes a hole to form.
When you need a Philadelphia bowel perforation or ruptured bowel attorney, you can count on The Weitz Firm to be by your side throughout the entire process.
Symptoms of bowel perforations include severe stomach pain, chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness. If left untreated, it can lead to sepsis and death.
There are a battery of tests that doctors can perform to determine if someone has a ruptured bowel.
When you are being operated on, very sharp instruments are involved. Usually, the surgeon who is working on you is highly skilled and gets the job done with no problems. There are times, though, when surgical errors lead to a perforated bowel.
If a surgeon is operating on your intestines or other organs close by, there is always a possibility they will hit the bowel. When this happens they usually realize the problem and correct it immediately.
Also, any time there is a procedure in which instruments are inserted into the body, such as a colonoscopy, there is a chance the bowel could be perforated.
Chances of recovery improve with early diagnosis and treatment.
If the mistake is not caught and the patient is closed up, major problems will quickly arise. Bacteria, bile, stomach acid, partially digested food, and stool can begin to enter the body from the intestines. This will cause an infection to rapidly set in, often leading to sepsis.
Bowel perforations can also happen from stomach ulcers that develop due to taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and other steroids that older adults are often prescribed. If a doctor does not perform a full medical history or check for symptoms of ruptured bowel when a patient is on these medications and a patient is not treated quickly, this is a major diagnostic error that can lead to death.
We know that having this medical emergency happen is the last thing you expected. You count on doctors and surgeons to perform at a high standard of care every time they work. Unfortunately, sometimes healthcare professionals are negligent in their duties. That does not mean that they intentionally hurt someone, but even if they did not mean to hurt a patient, they should still be held accountable for their actions.