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  1. #1
    oregontrucker is offline Junior Member
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    Perforated colon during colonoscopy

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?Oregon

    My wife was advised by her physician That she should have a routine colonoscopy because she is 57. Her procedure was performed at a clinic. Shortly after the procedure began the doctor perforated her colon. He recognized what he did and called for an ambulance to take her to the hospital. He said adhesions from previous surgeries may have bound the colon. Two hours later she was taken into surgery. The surgeon had to do a resection, removing 5-6 inches of colon. Fortunately no temporary colostomy was required. Isn't the doctor able to see that he is pushing against the wall of the colon? My wife has had a lot of pain and a long recovery time. Her bowel functions still aren't back to normal. We do have insurance and it covered most of the medical bills. Is she due any compensation for co-pays, lost wages, and pain and suffering? Is it possible to contact the doctors malpractice insurance company and offer to settle out of court? (Is this the wrong Question for a lawyer?) My wife doesn't want a lot of money but feels she is owed what she has lost in expenses and wages at least.
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    did you read the release she, and maybe you, signed prior to surgery? I am betting this possible complication is addressed in that release.

    If it is, you are limited to what it says unless you can prove actual negligence by the doc.

    I am not familiar with the complications possible with a colonoscopy but I can imagine that a perforation may very well be one of them.

    Before you start looking for money, you need to so some research to determine if this is a known complication and how common it is.

    Your best bet would be to speak with PI attorney that deals with med malpractice. They would be able to answer many of the preliminary questions as to this being a compensable injury or not.
  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Perforating the colon during a colonoscopy is definitely outside the standard of care. They should be covering ALL bills associated with the repair (your health insurance should not be getting billed) at the very least.
  4. #4
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
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    Actually, it's rare but it does happen.
    "Risks:
    There is a small chance for problems from a colonoscopy. The scope or a small tool may tear the lining of the colon or cause bleeding.

    People who have certain types of heart murmurs, artificial heart valves, or past infections of a heart valve will need antibiotics before and after the test to prevent infection. An irregular heartbeat may occur during the test but usually goes away without treatment."
    [url]http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/colonoscopy-16695?page=4[/url]
  5. #5
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Tearing the lining is not the same as a complete perforation. "Bleeding" is not the same as "requiring a very serious surgery with months of recovery time".
  6. #6
    lealea1005 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by oregontrucker View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?Oregon

    Isn't the doctor able to see that he is pushing against the wall of the colon?

    It depends whether the adhesions are clearly visible with the scope.
  7. #7
    MedMalDoc is offline Junior Member
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    Perforation of the colo during colonsocopy is a known risk of the procedure and occurs in roughly .2-1% of all colonoscopies. I have to disagree with ecmst12 in that perforation does not qualify as below the standard of care as it occurs even when very accomplished surgeons or Gi docs perform it and the standard of care is a deviation from reasonable actions taken by a doctor in similar circumstance. If the doc had sent you home and then ignored your complaints of belly pain 1- days later that would be different. From what you have said, your wife's experience does not qualify as malpractice.
    I don't say this to detract from the horrible complication that your wife experienced and I'm very sorry that it occurred. The change in her bowel habits should improve over time.
    I found a video on this subject from an attorney in NY:
    [url]http://www.animepile.net/anime/Colonoscopy_Perforation_Is_There_A_Malpractice_C___.html[/url]

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