The nursing home neglect lawyers at our Michigan law firm handle cases involving the failure to diagnose and treat an impacted bowel. An impacted bowel is a medical emergency that can be fatal if there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment. Small impacted bowels account for 20% of all acute surgical admissions. The failure to timely diagnose and treat this condition can cause the death of a nursing home resident.
Diagnosing Impacted Bowels
The diagnosis of an impacted bowel 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 an impacted bowel can lead to nursing home neglect lawsuit.
Symptoms of Impacted Bowels
Common symptoms and complaints that should point toward a diagnosis of an impacted bowel include:
- Abdominal pain
- Fever and Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
- Previous abdominal or pelvic surgery
Physical Exam for Impacted Bowels
Several findings on physical exams can lead to a diagnosis of impacted bowels, especially in connection with the common symptoms and complaints. These include:
- Abdominal distention
- Bowel sounds
- 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 impacted bowels. 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 impacted bowels perform these tests immediately.
When diagnosed, emergency surgery is often necessary in conjunction with IV anti-biotics, give both before and after surgery.
Impacted Bowels May Lead to Death
Time is of the essence in both the diagnosis and treatment of impacted bowels. 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%.
Nursing Home Neglect and Impacted Bowels
When a patient suffers injuries or death due to the delay in diagnosis and treatment of impacted bowels, 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.
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