Chicago Bowel Obstruction Malpractice Lawyer
An experienced bowel obstruction attorney can help you file and resolve a medical malpractice compensation claim. The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) will ensure your claim has the highest chance of approval to get the damage recovery you need.
Discuss your medical malpractice lawsuit with a Chicago, IL attorney during a free consultation.
Bowel Obstruction – Failure to Diagnose a Life-Threatening Condition
The digestive tract, including the small and large intestines, performs complex functions, including breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, and excreting waste products. Many individuals experience a digestive tract system disturbance, leading to inflammatory bowel disease.
Science has yet to identify specific contributing factors leading to bowel blocks. Doctors often fail to treat the condition or its symptoms due to a lack of a conclusive diagnosis.
Common diseases associated with an obstructed bowel include:
- Bowel ischemia
- Typhoid fever
- Gastric ulcers
- Bypass Surgery
- Ascariasis (infection)
- Ulcerated colitis
- Crohn's disease
- Partial intestinal block
Blocked intestinal obstructs waste evacuation through the rectum and anus. Without treatment, the blockage could restrict oxygenated blood to the large intestines, leading to necrotic (dead) tissue.
Many individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease, experience intense inflammation when the body's immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract.
- Abdominal tenderness and pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Impacted stool
- Vomiting and nausea
- Fecal vomiting
- Abnormal mass (neoplasm)
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
In many cases, surgical resection is the only option to remove a blockage in the intestines. In some cases, the surgeon will place a stent in the patient's intestinal tract to assist food passing to the colon for evacuation through the rectum and anus.
If there is significant damage from perforation or blockage, the surgeon might perform a colostomy to prevent or minimize the development of further blockages.
In severe cases, the obstruction might cause bowel perforations, much like a puncturing injury or blunt force trauma caused by an accident, sutures, or a wound. Without treatment, a blockage can become inflamed, overstretching the intestinal walls causing leakage or a rupture.
A rupture can be deadly when human waste products leave the digestive tract, enter the bloodstream, causing sepsis (blood infection) or septic shock. In response, the body will attack the infection, exacerbating the inflammation and restricting blood flow.
Uncontrollable sepsis often results in an extremity amputation or shock. An accurate diagnosis of intestinal blockage or perforation is crucial to avoid permanent damage to the affected area.
However, many of the signs and symptoms associated with bowel blockages or perforations are significantly similar to other diseases, leading to a misdiagnosis.
Medical Malpractice and Bowel Obstruction and Perforations
Statistically, inflammatory bowel disease is a rare condition that is often undiagnosed with physical examinations and laboratory tests. A comprehensive blood test might reveal elevated WBC (white blood cells) levels, indicating an infection.
However, a delayed diagnosis of Crohn's disease or other inflammatory intestinal conditions could exacerbate the condition leading to severe problems diagnosed too late. Some bowel blocks are caused by mechanical problems like medications, kidney stones, impacted feces, tumors, volvulus (colon twisting), intussusception (intestinal narrowing), Meckel diverticulum, or another illness that stops the intestine's normal function.
Additionally, swallowed objects, adhesions, and post-surgical scars can cause a mechanical blockage that could cost the patient's life if left untreated.
Many medical malpractice cases are built on the doctor or hospital's negligence that contributed to the intestinal perforation or blockage, including:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnoses
- Surgical mistakes
- Emergency care
- Post-surgical sutures
- Open wounds
- Inserted nasogastric tubes
- Mishandled equipment and devices
- Untreated infections
- Failing to change a patient's feeding tube
- Confusing laboratory test results
- Specific pain medications
A conclusive diagnosis of intestinal perforation or intestinal blockage typically requires comprehensive blood tests, CT scans, and x-rays. With an accurate diagnosis, a doctor can recommend the best treatment after determining the obstruction's location.
Treatment might require surgically removing affected intestinal tissue followed by a sufficient course of effect of antibiotics. Further damage can be prevented by clearing the blockage or surgically repairing the perforation.
Filing a Compensation Claim for Misdiagnosis
Any misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, or failure to diagnose an intestinal blockage and provide necessary treatment could be the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A failure to provide adequate treatment following an accurate diagnosis could result in sepsis (blood infection), blood ischemia, or a quick death.
However, to successfully resolve a medical malpractice claim, the victim, or their personal injury attorney, must prove that a medical mistake by the doctor, hospital, or nursing team led to a significant injury.
A doctor or nurse could be negligent when failing to act according to established protocols, procedures, and standards, based on the circumstances and patient's diagnosis.
A misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or a failure to diagnose could lead to negligence that caused the patient's harm. If the lack of an accurate diagnosis does not result in injury, the victim has no case for compensation to pursue.
There may be additional defendants, other than the doctor, responsible for causing the patient's injuries, including the hospital, surgeons, or nurses that failed to treat an intestinal blockage.
Receiving Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Claim
The medical malpractice compensation case's value can be determined by the unique evidence, contributing circumstances, and various factors. A medical malpractice attorney will usually determine the case's worth based on the degree of negligence involving the doctor, hospital, emergency room, or nurses.
Additional value can be determined by the extent of the patient's injuries caused by an improper diagnosis and a failure to treat the condition according to established treatment protocols.
Typically, the patient can expect to receive recoverable damages based on malpractice tort law.
Common damages include:
- Hospitalization costs
- Healthcare expenses
- Cost of rehabilitation, therapy, and any further surgery needed
- Visual disfigurement, including scars
- Loss of life's enjoyment
- Lost wages from time off from work
- Lost future earnings for temporary or permanent disabilities associated with the injury
- Pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and psychological injury
Nearly every malpractice lawsuit is resolved through a negotiated settlement instead of a jury verdict. Not only does an out-of-court settlement save the plaintiff time, but it provides recovery quicker without the need to present evidence at trial.
Bowel Obstruction Injury FAQs
Our legal team knows that you likely have many unanswered questions concerning holding a negligent doctor or medical professional financially liable for their mistakes. Contact us now for a free consultation at (888) 424-5757 for more answers. We can help you today.
When Should I be Concerned about a Bowel Obstruction?
Even a mild intestinal obstruction may be a severe complication requiring immediate emergent attention. If you have severe abdominal pain, intestinal discomfort, ongoing vomiting, loss of appetite, or unexplained cramping, you may be experiencing the symptoms of intestinal obstruction.
Immediate care at the emergency room might be required if you experience intestinal cramping after undergoing abdominal surgery or have developed cancer, diverticulosis, or inflammatory bowel disease. If you swallowed a foreign object or experience chronic constipation, you might also need emergent care.
Is a Small Bowel Obstruction Deadly?
Adhesions in the small intestines could lead to a small bowel obstruction, compromising blood flow, leading to intestinal tissue necrosis. Any restriction of blood flow to a portion of the small intestines could create a life-threatening problem.
Many patients who have experienced complete intestinal obstruction in the larger small intestine die a quick death. Without fluids, the patient could expire within a week or two.
The patient's survival time could last as long as a few weeks to a month or more with fluids. Any lack of following standard of care could be deemed malpractice if the negligence resulted in an injury.
Can You get Sepsis From a Bowel Blockage?
Any intestinal blockage that leads to a perforation could cause fecal (waste product) leakage into the peritoneal cavity, leading to infection and sepsis (blood infection).
Many of the signs and symptoms associated with sepsis include:
- Elevated heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Sweaty or clammy skin
- Belly discomfort
- Shivering or the sensation of extreme cold (fever)
Can a CT Scan Miss a Bowel Obstruction?
Standard x-ray technology usually cannot detect an intestinal obstruction. However, a doctor may order a combination of multiple x-ray images with a CT (computerized tomography) scan that creates a cross-sectional image. The physician may also order an ultrasound that can identify intussusception when the intestines become coils.
Intestinal obstructions can also be identified through physical examination when the abdominal wall's tender or swollen or a lump appears in the belly. The physician may use a stethoscope to identify intestinal sounds or order a barium/air enema that enhances an intestinal image to identify any suspected obstruction.
Liquid barium or air enemas are inserted through the rectum into the colon. In young children, the enema can sometimes fix most intussusception problems, avoiding the need for any future treatment.
What are the Symptoms of an Intestinal Blockage?
Typically, an individual with a blocked intestinal tract will experience severe pain in their abdomen and other symptoms that include:
- Severe cramping
- Throwing up
- A sensation of feeling full or swollen in the abdomen
- Loud noises from the stomach, belly, and abdomen
- Feeling bloated, gassy, and unable to pass the gas
- Constipation, including difficulty passing stool
Discuss Your Claim with a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Attorney During a Free Consultation
Were you injured, or was a loved one killed by an intestinal obstruction? Contact our medical malpractice attorneys to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.
The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) can advise you on your case's merits to proceed at filing and resolving a personal injury compensation claim.
Our medical malpractice lawyers accept all medical malpractice cases through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement ensures you are not charged a legal fee until we obtain recovery in your case.
Anyone who lost a loved one from a wrongful death can file a lawsuit to recover damages, including doctor bills, lost past and future earnings, loss of companionship, funeral costs, and pain.
All information you and your loved ones share with our law firm will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Our Illinois medical negligence lawyer currently follows CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Covid-19 guidelines on social distancing to maintain everyone's health.
Our practice areas include motor vehicle crashes, work-related accidents, premises liability, nursing home abuse, product liability, and wrongful death. Our law office currently represents injured clients throughout Illinois in Cook County, Dupage County, Lake County, Peoria County, Sangamon County, Will County, Winnebago County, Aurora, Chicago, Joliet, Schaumburg, and Waukegan.