This month we covered the story of a United States veteran who went in for a colon cancer screening at his local VA medical center. During the routine colonoscopy, the doctor perforated his bowel – a rare but serious medical mistake. The VA hospital has stopped its endoscopic program and is investigating the medical malpractice incident.
What are the complications and consequences of a nicked or cut bowel?
- Serious infection. The most common complication occurs when bacteria from inside the intestine leaks into the abdomen, often causing widespread infection. Sepsis, full-body infection, can spread extremely quickly.
- Subsequent re-perforation. A damaged colon could re-tear days, months, or years after the original perforation occurred. This time, it may take the patient longer to realize what has happened.
- Intestinal blockage. A blocked intestine can be extremely painful, expensive to fix, and life-threatening.
- Colostomy. A cut or perforated colon might necessitate the removal of a long segment of intestine in order to save the patient. In some cases, this intestine must be replaced by a bag that collects waste that is attached to the patient for life.
- Death. If an infection spreads quickly, a patient may go into shock, and his or her organs may shut down.
As you can see, the consequences of a perforated bowel can be extremely painful, very expensive, and permanent. If you have suffered from this serious medical mistake, it is important that the party responsible for your pain and medical problems compensates you for damages. Call a Virginia medical malpractice attorney today to learn more about your possible VA med mal case.