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Medical Negligence
Perforated Bowel After Surgery

Perforated Bowel After Surgery

If your bowel ruptured after surgery but doctors failed to notice, causing you to suffer serious illness, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. To talk to a lawyer about making a claim for medical negligence, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors.

Why would a bowel rupture after surgery?

The bowel can rupture during surgery if the surgeon accidentally cuts or nicks the organ.

The bowel can also rupture after abdominal surgery. In such cases the bowel is intact at the end of the operation but bursts a short time later. This might happen if some sutures (stitches) come undone, or if the wall of the bowel has become weakened by illness such as inflammatory bowel disease.

What will happen when the bowel ruptures?

A ruptured bowel is very painful. If the patient is conscious, there will be intense abdominal pain and a burning sensation in the tummy. The patient may even be aware of something 'ripping' inside them.

The contents of the bowel will then begin to spill out into the abdominal cavity. The bowel contains faeces and other waste. These products will infect the lining of the abdominal cavity, causing a bacterial infection called peritonitis. At this stage the patient will feel very unwell with abdominal discomfort and fever.

The infection may also reach the bloodstream, resulting in sepsis. This is extremely serious and can be fatal. In fact, around 37,000 people in the UK die of sepsis every year. At this stage the patient will still have a fever and will also develop confusion, breathlessness and vomiting.

Recognising a ruptured bowel

When a bowel ruptures after surgery, medical professionals cannot be readily blamed for the incident. However, it is essential that they recognise a patient whose bowel has ruptured post-operatively or potentially fatal complications could ensue.

Should a patient begin to show symptoms such as a fever and intense abdominal pain, clinicians should be quick to suspect a ruptured bowel. Indeed, the patient has recently undergone abdominal surgery and is now displaying signs of a severe infection it should not take medical practitioners long to consider the possibility of a ruptured bowel.

If doctors and nurses fail to realise that a patient has a perforated bowel and send him/her home, the standard of care will be deemed unacceptable. If this causes a patient harm such as sepsis, scarring and the need for a colostomy bag there may be grounds for a claim.

To start your claim for compensation, please contact us at Glynns Solicitors.

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We offer everyone a free, no obligation enquiry. This means you can talk to a solicitor completely free of charge. After this consultation you will be given expert legal advice, during which you will be told whether you have grounds to make a claim.

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