One of the primary risks in any surgical procedure is that the surgeon will make a mistake. The mistake doesn’t have to be big in order to put your life in jeopardy or leave you with permanent or debilitating injuries.
Something as simple as a surgeon nicking a portion of your bowel during an abdominal procedure could have devastating consequences to your health.
How could your bowel become perforated?
The most common reason for a bowel perforation is abdominal surgery. Surgeons should exercise caution during these procedures since they work in tight spaces in which the surgeon could nick or puncture any number of organs. When a surgeon fails to meet this standard of care, a bowel perforation could occur. In other cases, a doctor may fail to properly or timely diagnose a bowel perforation caused by one of the following:
- Crohn’s disease
- Gunshot or knife wound
- Ulcerative colitis
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Damage from swallowing a foreign object
- Damage from swallowing a caustic substance
- Toxic megacolon
- Severe blow to the abdomen
- Forceful vomiting
- Strangulated hernia
- Poor blood flow to the intestines
- Lack of blood flow to the intestines
Simply suffering from one of these conditions does not guarantee a perforated bowel, but when coupled with the following symptoms, your doctor should take it into consideration:
- Severe stomach pain
These symptoms could result from any number of conditions. Your doctor will need to take the additional steps needed in order to properly diagnose your bowel perforation.
What happens when the bowel is perforated?
Regardless of the cause, a perforation causes the contents of your bowel to spill into your abdominal cavity. This causes a highly toxic and dangerous situation for you. The longer the situation goes unresolved, the greater the chances are that you could develop sepsis. This is not an infection, but rather an extreme reaction of your immune system to fighting an infection. Your body essentially attacks itself, and your life could be in danger if not diagnosed and rectified quickly.
The Ohio medical personnel caring for you ought to know that a perforated bowel is a possibility under certain circumstances. If you fail to receive the standard of care you deserve, your condition could go undiagnosed until it becomes life threatening. If that happens, you may need immediate medical intervention such as surgery, antibiotics and other treatments in order to save your life and prevent you from suffering lifelong health issues. If you don’t get the treatment you need, you may have cause to file a medical malpractice claim.