The medical malpractice lawyers at our Michigan law firm handle cases involving the failure to diagnose and treat a bowel obstructions. A bowel obstruction is a medical emergency that can be fatal if there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment. Small bowel obstructions account for 20% of all acute surgical admissions.
Diagnosing Bowel Obstructions
The diagnosis of a small bowel obstruction is made based upon the complaints, symptoms, and presentation of the patient. It is essential that a physician take a detailed history from the patient and perform a proper physical examination to diagnose this condition. A misdiagnosis of a patient with a bowel obstruction can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Symptoms of Bowel Obstructions
Common symptoms and complaints that should point toward a diagnosis of a bowel obstruction include:
Abdominal pain -Nausea
Fever and Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
Previous abdominal or pelvic surgery
Physical Exam for Bowel Obstructions
Several findings on physical exams can lead to a diagnosis of a bowel obstruction, especially in connection with the common symptoms and complaints. These include:
Blood during rectal examination
Fever and Tachycardia
In addition to the symptoms and complaints, there are several tests and studies that are used by doctors to make the diagnosis of a bowel obstruction. These include abdominal x-rays, CT scans, ultrasonography, and blood tests. It is essential that a physician who suspects that a patient is suffering from a bowel obstruction perform these tests immediately. When diagnosed, emergency surgery is often necessary in conjunction with IV anti-biotics, give both before and after surgery.
Bowel Obstructions May Lead to Death
Time is of the essence in both the diagnosis and treatment of bowel obstructions. If untreated, strangulated obstructions cause death in 100% of patients. If surgery is performed within 36 hours, the death rate decreases to 8%. For surgeries performed after 36 hours, the mortality rate increases to 25%.
Medical Malpractice and Bowel Obstructions
When a patient suffers injuries or death due to the delay in diagnosis and treatment of a bowel obstruction, it may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. If a patient dies as a result, this warrants the filing of a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit. If you would like more information about your rights in a medical malpractice case, you can order our FREE book "The Ultimate Michigan Medical Malpractice Handbook" by clicking on the book title. We will send it out immediately along with other important information.
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