Abdominal surgeries involve a variety of risks, including bowel perforation. This painful condition occurs when the surgical procedure or instrument ruptures the wall of the bowel, which can introduce harmful bacteria into the abdominal cavity. While this injury may be a standard risk of the surgical procedure, it may also result from the negligent actions of the surgeon.
The Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. understand the pain and suffering experienced by Washington DC and Maryland patients who were injured by surgical bowel perforation. Below are some steps you can take to protect your interests under these difficult circumstances.
Record your Symptoms
Symptoms of bowel perforation do not always begin immediately following surgery. In some cases, it can take days for any signs of the trauma to develop. If this occurs, keep a detailed account of your symptoms. Write down what is happening and when, including the date and time of day. This record will provide your physician with specific information about your injuries, which promotes a proper diagnosis. You should watch for signs and symptoms such as abdominal pain, tenderness, distension, alteration in bowel habit as well as fever, increasing white blood cell count and falling blood pressure. These are all signs of an evolving peritonitis and sepsis (blood infection) from spillage of the bowel contents.
It will also be useful in the event that you decide to seek compensation for your injuries. Putting forth a medical malpractice claim can take a significant amount of time, and you may not be able to remember every detail of your injury by the time the case ensues. By keeping a detailed record, you will not have to solely rely on the accuracy of your memory.
Seek a Second Opinion
If you are not satisfied with your doctor’s explanation, seek the opinion of another qualified medical professional. Sometimes, hospitals and physicians attempt to cover up negligent actions in an effort to shield themselves from liability. Towards this goal, they may refuse to provide you with information or even provide you with data that is incorrect. If you don’t feel confident about your physician’s explanation, or you just want to ensure a thorough review of your symptoms, don’t be afraid to seek an additional medical opinion.
Contact an attorney
Medical malpractice cases can prove challenging and time consuming, so it is important to secure legal representation as soon as possible after learning of your injury. An unreasonable lapse of time can negatively affect witness memories, as well as your own recollection. In addition, Maryland and Washington DC medical malpractice cases are subject to strict time requirements, called statutes of limitations. These laws restrict the amount of time that a victim has to bring a malpractice claim against a medical professional. Failure to file a case within the allotted time may prevent you from ever securing financial compensation for your injuries within a court of law.
If you or a family member were injured by a surgical bowel perforation, secure representation from the attorneys of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. Contact our office at 410-234-1000 or click here for a free consultation.