Nursing home patients have an elevated risk of developing an impacted bowel— which can result in severe pain and medical complications if left untreated. Patients who show signs of an impacted bowel may need to undergo a colonoscopy to determine if there is a blockage in the intestines and preventative measures must be taken after the blockage is treated to ensure that the bowel does not become impacted again.
Nursing care staff members need to be attentive to the needs of their patients and aware of any symptoms that signal the need for medical treatment. The failure to diagnose or treat medical conditions can be considered a form of medical negligence or malpractice. The nursing home abuse attorneys at our Chicago based law firm are committed to holding facilities accountable when a patient is injured due to complications related to an impacted bowel. Contact our law firm for a free case review of your situation under Illinois law.Symptoms and Complications of an Impacted Bowel
A fecal impaction, which is also known as an impacted bowel, is the result of severe constipation due to an obstruction in the intestines. The primary cause is the hardening and drying of the stool as it moves through the intestines, making it difficult to pass the stool without medical intervention. Symptoms of an impacted bowel include the following.
- Cramping or bloating.
- Blood in the stool or rectum.
- Pain in the lower back accompanied with severe strain when attempting to pass a stool.
- Lightheaded or rapid heartbeat when attempting to go to the bathroom.
- Loss of bladder control.
Patients who are at higher risk of developing an impacted bowel must be monitored for symptoms so that timely measures can be taken in the event that there is a blockage in the intestines. Complications caused due to fecal impaction include tears in the rectum or colon, infection, death of rectal tissue or sepsis.Causes of Fecal Impaction
Diet, medications and a sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to the formation of an intestinal blockage. Exercise, water and sound nutritional choices can all reduce the chances of an impaction but some patients are confined to their beds or require the use of medications that increase the risk of an impacted bowel. The most common causes of fecal impaction include the following.
- Sedentary living and lack of exercise.
- Nervous disorders that affect the function of the intestines.
- Narcotic pain relievers.
- Overuse of medicines used to treat diarrhea.
When an impacted bowel is diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, the prognosis is almost always positive. The blockage can be removed often through the use of laxatives, enemas or manual removal. After removing the blockage, changes must be made to the patient’s diet and routine that will prevent the formation of future blockages.Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Prosecuting Impacted Bowel Cases
If you or a loved one suffered from an impacted bowel and the failure of nursing care staff to diagnose and treat the condition resulted in undue pain and suffering and severe medical complications, you may be entitled to compensation. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers our nursing home neglect lawyers are committed to holding negligent nursing care facilities accountable when their failure to provide proper care results in the injury of their patients. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer who will explain your rights to you and review the details of your case.