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Compensation for Bowel Perforation due to Delayed Diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis

Compensation for Bowel Perforation due to Delayed Diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis

A delay in diagnosing a patient with ulcerative colitis is likely to increase the patient's chance of suffering some form of complication. Should the patient experience severe, long-term problems as a result, a claim for compensation might be a helpful way forward.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a condition of the gut which causes inflammation and the development of small ulcers in the lining of the gut, specifically the colon and rectum at the lower end of the digestive system.

If the inflammation becomes too severe or widespread, the patient is at risk of a hole developing in the lining of the bowel. This perforation or rupture may allow bacterial matter to spread into the abdomen and infect the peritoneum. The peritoneum is the lining of the abdomen which houses many of the body's fundamental and vital organs such as the stomach, liver and intestines.

The impact of a perforated bowel

Peritonitis can very quickly endanger the life of the patient. The infection can spread, threatening the major organs of the body. The patient may develop sepsis which will increase their risk of death, as the body over-reacts to the spread of infection and starts to cause malfunction.

A perforated bowel will also mean that the patient has to undergo further surgical procedures to try to resolve the problem.

In severe cases, it may be necessary for the patient to be fitted with a colostomy bag if their own bowel can no longer function effectively.

Diagnosing ulcerative colitis

Consequently, every effort should be made to diagnose the patient's symptoms promptly and accurately.

Abdominal pain might indicate a condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is not life-threatening. If the patient is, in fact, suffering from a more sinister condition such as Crohn's Disease, appendicitis or ulcerative colitis, it is important to confirm the presence of this disorder as quickly as possible.

A patient with ulcerative colitis is likely to be suffering with abdominal pain, diarrhoea and fatigue.

To confirm a diagnosis it may be necessary to test a blood sample or for the patient to undergo an endoscopy or scan of some form.

If the patient is also experiencing nausea or is vomiting, it may suggest that their bowel has already ruptured and their situation has become a medical emergency.

Medical negligence

If medical professionals failed to investigate your abdominal disorder effectively, resulting in a bowel perforation, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation if you have on-going symptoms.

Contact Glynns Solicitors to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about your situation.

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