I went to a Texas hospital for a colonoscopy and ended up with a hole in my bowel. Is that medical negligence?

 

Painter Law Firm's frequently asked question (FAQ) series

 
December 24, 2018

I’ve handled scores of cases where patients went to a hospital or surgical center for an abdominal procedure and ended up with a perforated bowel. A bowel perforation refers to a hole, puncture, rip, or tear of the bowel unintentionally caused by an endoscope or surgical equipment during the procedure.

I’ve had cases where a patient experienced this complication with a colonoscopy, gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy), bariatric/weight loss procedure, and many laparoscopic procedures, such as hernia repairs.

In my experience, unless there’s something very unusual documented in the medical records, medical experts on both sides will testify that a bowel perforation alone doesn’t equal negligence. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a potential medical malpractice or wrongful death case.

When the bowel is compromised with a perforation, the contents leak and spill out into the patient’s abdominal cavity. Think about that for a moment. It’s easy to see how that can cause a serious infection. If left undiagnosed and not properly treated with another surgery to repair the hole and leak, the infection can cause sepsis and death.

An experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney knows how to investigate the medical records and events to uncover whether the surgeon, doctors, and nurses missed signs and symptoms of infection after the procedure or surgery. If there was a delay in treatment that caused serious damages or death, there’s definitely a potential case worth exploring.

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Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas.

Robert Painter

Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.

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