Massachusetts Medical Malpractice – Bowel Perforation
A perforated bowel is when a hole opens and releases waste into other parts of the abdominal cavity. An absolute medical emergency, a person must seek immediate treatment upon realizing that they have a perforated bowel. Many times, the hole in the bowel can occur from a car accident; for example, when a driver or passenger is suddenly jolted and the abdomen area is compressed against the seatbelt, ripping the bowel open.
Other instances of a perforated bowel are caused by Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis, the swelling of an irregular pouch in the intestinal wall. Symptoms of a perforated bowel are nausea and a high fever. If the case is further along, the victim will also experience excruciating abdominal pain and intense vomiting. An intestinal blockage may also result in a perforated bowel, since it will build up with waste and overload. Thus, the excrement has nowhere to properly release and a rip is created. Those who have a history of intestinal blockages should be mindful of symptoms.
The most common complication of a perforated bowel is a blood infection. The body will become immune to infection, especially bacterial, and blood will clot and the blood vessels of the body will become inflamed. In worst case scenarios, organs will fail and death is imminent. To avoid this situation, upon hearing the victim’s symptoms, doctors will order an X–ray and CT scan to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment is almost always surgery. The abdomen is washed out and then repaired by surgeons. In the worst case scenario, doctors may discover that the intestine has been affected. In this instance, the large intestine is brought to the abdomen wall so the patient can excrete into a bag outside of the body. After surgery, the patient must take high doses of antibiotics to stave off infections in and around the surrounding abdomen and the intestines.
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