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Whenever doctors operate in, or near, the digestive tract, there is a serious risk of the doctor making a preventable mistake and perforating your bowel or nicking your intestine. This is a risk for a variety of surgical procedures including: colonoscopies, hysterectomies, gall-bladder removal, and upper endoscopy.

If you suffer a perforated bowel, or another organ is perforated, seek medical attention as soon as humanly possible. This is a no-nonsense medical emergency and one that often goes unnoticed during the time between the injury and the diagnosis. If a perforation goes unnoticed for a protracted period of time, you can quickly develop life-threatening infections, peritonitis, sepsis, a colostomy. If the perforation is not treated in time, or improperly treated, then you may lose your life.

What are the symptoms of a perforated bowel, perforated ureter, or other organ?

Symptoms include major abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, blood in your stool, or changes in bowel habits.

How routine procedures can lead to life-threatening injuries

If you think that your doctor is immune from making a mistake and perforating one of your organs, think about former Congressman Jack Murtha. He lost his life after gall bladder surgery. The procedure is pretty routine, but even a routine procedure can have devastating consequences. During the procedure, the surgeon apparently perforated Congressman Murtha’s intestines, leading to infection and, subsequently, his death. just days later.

How to establish that a perforation occurred and it may have caused your injury

If you or a loved one had a procedure – including gall bladder surgery, colonoscopy, hysterectomy, etc. – and that procedure led to you or a loved one suffering sepsis, a perforation, or peritonitis, considering contacting a Virginia medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal options. The attorney can help you in determining whether or not a claim should be filed and can initiate the discovery process so we can figure out if a perforation occurred

Potentially Helpful Info:

Our firm published an in-depth guide providing tips and guidance if you or a loved one what seriously injured due to a surgical error.

We also published an article providing more info about bowel perforations.

About the Editors: Our personal injury law firm has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC). The attorneys with the firm publish and edit articles on three Legal Examiner sites for the geographic areas of Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Northeast North Carolina as a pro bono service to the general public.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Gerry Oginski
    Gerry Oginski

    I agree with you. The failure to recognize and treat a perforated bowel can be deadly. That's what usually rises to the level of medical malpractice, especially here in New York.

    The surgical experts tell us that intra-operative bowel injury can occur w/ abdominal surgery and is often a known, recognized complication.

    That may be true, however, it is the FAILURE to recognize that injury during surgery that would likely be considered a departure from good medical practice.

    What we attorneys typically see is the surgery is finished, the patient is taken back to recovery and over the next hours or days they get worse and worse.

    A perforation can often lead to leakage of bowel contents and massive system-wide infection known as sepsis. If not diagnosed and treated, can lead to death.


    Thanks for letting people know about this condition.

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