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Perforated Duodenal Ulcer

Perforated Duodenal Ulcer

It is estimated a duodenal ulcer will perforate in 2-10% of cases. While the rate of frequency is not very high, when it does happen, a patient will face very serious complications. It is therefore paramount medical professionals do not delay when diagnosing a duodenal ulcer. If they do, there may be a case of medical negligence.

What Is A Duodenal Ulcer?

A duodenal ulcer is a type of peptic ulcer that develops in the duodenum – the beginning of the small intestine. A peptic ulcer is an open sore caused by the erosion of the lining of the duodenum.

Such erosion may be the result of:-

  • Infection of the stomach;
  • Overuse of alcohol and/or tobacco;
  • Overuse of aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

This will cause someone to experience the following symptoms:-

  • Severe abdominal pain;
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • A burning sensation in the abdomen.

These symptoms will vary from patient to patient, and may either be experienced sporadically, or they may come on very suddenly and be very severe.

Diagnosing Duodenal Ulcers

If a duodenal ulcer is suspected, a diagnosis can be confirmed via the use of tests such as: an endoscopy, a urea breath test, a stool antigen test and a blood test. Once diagnosed, the type of treatment will depend upon what exactly has caused the ulcer. Should it be from infection, antibiotics will be needed to kill the bacteria. On the other hand, if the ulcer has been caused by the use of medication, treatment will involve proton pump inhibitors and a review of a patient’s treatment plan.

Duodenal Ulcers and a Delay in Diagnosis

However, there are occasions in which medical professionals mistakenly diagnose a duodenal ulcer for another condition. For example, a patient may be thought to have gallstones, or a woman may be told she has a gynaecological problem.

If there is a wrong diagnosis and treatment is subsequently delayed, a patient will be put in grave danger. This is because if a duodenal ulcer is left untreated, it will eventually eat through all the lining of the duodenum, resulting in perforation. This will allow the infection to spread into the lining of the abdomen, a series condition known as peritonitis.

Peritonitis is a medical emergency, as it can quickly cause someone to become very unwell. There is the risk that infection will spread to the blood (sepsis), which in turn will carry bacteria to the organs, potentially resulting in multiple organ failure.

Perforated Duodenal Ulcers and Medical Negligence

If someone presents with the symptoms of a duodenal ulcer, but medical professionals fail to make a correct diagnosis, it is likely that person will go on to experience significant complications. If this has happened to you, it is very probable you have been the victim of negligent treatment.

For more information, you need to speak to a solicitor. However, if it is found you suffered as the consequence of a substandard level of care, you will be able to make a medical negligence claim. If successful, you will receive a sum of compensation to cover the pain and suffering caused, as well as to recompense for other expenses you have lost (such as a loss of earnings).

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01761 490883) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01761 490883) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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