Nursing Home Lawyers for Patients With Impacted Bowels in Illinois Facilities
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.
Sample Nursing Home Bowel Complication Lawsuits & Settlements
$750,000 Illinois Settlement for Nursing Home Bowel Complication
The resident at the center of this case was an elderly woman (age eighty-seven) with a history of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. On top of that, she told the nursing home staff that her abdomen hurt, and she was experiencing constipation. It appears they did nothing despite her pleas. Eventually, they finally took a look and saw that it was so bad she needed to be moved to a nearby hospital. Doctors performed surgery right away on her. They had to do a fecal disimpactation, colostomy, and vagina reconstruction. Her medical bills were enormous. Plus, she was permanently disabled and in pain. She sued the nursing home and cited its long list of failures as proof of its negligence. She sought compensation for her pain, expenses, and suffering among other things. The nursing home protested but eventually relented when faced with its glaring errors. The woman recovered $750,000 in the settlement.
$1,350,000 Illinois Settlement for Nursing Home Bowel Complication
The plaintiff in this matter was relatively young compared to most nursing home residents. He was in his middle forties. Doctors transferred him to the Illinois care facility because he had a back injury and needed rehabilitation. While staying there, he developed bladder incontinence. The staff did not notice this. His treating doctors did not notice this. Consequently, he did not get the treatment that he needed. He sustained cauda equina syndrome as a result. He would have to live with that condition and the related pain for the rest of his life. To account for this chain of events, he sued the nursing home. He stated that it should have (1) checked him for incontinence problems, (2) treated his incontinence problems, or (3) transfer him for better care if it could not do so. Since it did none of these things, he suffered as a result. He claimed economic (bills, lost income) and non-economic (disability, suffering, pain) damages as a result. The defendant nursing home replied and went back and forth in discovery until eventually settling for the figure of $1.35 million.
$760,000 Illinois Verdict for Nursing Home Bowel Complication
The victim in this matter was a female resident in her late sixties. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She also exhibited signs of incontinence including the following: diarrhea and vomiting. Also, she had suffered bowel disorders in the past. Despite all of these warning signs, the attending staff did not treat her. Instead, they allowed her to go out on leave to see family away from the nursing center. It was there where she finally fell ill from incontinence. Her family rushed her to the hospital, but it was useless. She passed away not long after these events. Her family brought an action against the nursing center and medical professionals. They alleged that the defendants’ combined negligence caused her untimely death. They sought compensation for all of the damage that it caused. An Illinois jury awarded them $760,000 for lost society. Most of that money went to her daughter and the remainder went to her son.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC 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 LLC 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.