A perforated bowel is bad enough, but it can lead to sepsis

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
June 25, 2024

Anytime you undergo a surgical procedure involving your abdomen, there is a risk of intestinal perforation, where your bowel could end up perforated or nicked by the surgeon. In such cases, emergency surgery is often required to address the condition and prevent life-threatening complications.

Knowing this, your surgeon should conduct an examination of your intestines prior to closing and repair any damage found.

Two issues arise from this scenario. First, the surgeon may miss a nick or perforation. Second, doctors and other medical personnel responsible for your post-operative care may not properly monitor you, and you could end up with a life-threatening infection or internal bleeding. Close monitoring after the surgery is essential since stitches or staples could also fail and cause you harm. If you have been harmed by such medical malpractice, the dedicated attorneys at Davis & Davis can help you pursue compensation.

What should doctors look for?

After an abdominal surgery, doctors should look for the following signs and symptoms of a bowel perforation:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

These symptoms don’t always appear right away. In fact, they often start gradually and increase over time. While you get sicker, you may also end up with an infection that could turn into sepsis or some other virulent infection, such as MRSA.

What does it take to diagnose and treat a bowel perforation?

If not caught while you remain hospitalized, you will more than likely end up in the emergency room with the above symptoms. You should inform the emergency room doctor that you recently had abdominal surgery. This may provide a clue to the fact that you suffer from a bowel perforation. Imaging tests will confirm the perforation. Blood tests will determine infection and blood loss.

In most cases, surgery is required in order to repair the damage. It may be necessary to create a hole in your abdomen that is used to connect a bag to your intestines. Your intestines empty into the bag instead of through your bowels in order to give them time to heal. Unless this needs to be a permanent solution, you will then need a second surgery to reattach your intestines and close the hole.

In the meantime, any infection needs to be aggressively treated with fluids and antibiotics. You will probably remain in the hospital for some time, depending on the extent of the damage and the infection.

What am I supposed to do about my expenses?

Going through this type of ordeal is not only hard on your body but also on your life and your bank account. Your life may change significantly, at least temporarily. Even if you heal properly and the infection clears, you could suffer residual issues. In addition, you probably missed work for a while, incurred medical expenses, and sustained other damages at the same time.

Under Texas law, you may pursue compensation for these losses if your care falls below the accepted standard of care. In order to know for sure, you may benefit from seeking a complete evaluation of your case by making use of the legal resources available to you. Fill out our contact form or call (888) 522-9444 for a free consultation.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

June 25 2024

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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