Many people dread undergoing a colonoscopy. Used to examine the interior of the intestine, a colonoscopy involves inserting a tube with a small camera into the bowel. The doctor looks for signs of cancer or precancerous polyps and can remove any tissue that looks suspicious. A doctor can also diagnose other bowel diseases during a colonoscopy. Before the procedure, the patient must cleanse the bowel by drinking a special liquid, which is one of the more unpleasant experiences.
Although very safe, colonoscopies sometimes can cause complications, especially when a doctor has been negligent. If you were injured during a colonoscopy, or if a doctor did not perform it properly, you could have a legal claim for medical malpractice. Reach out to a Volusia county personal injury attorney right away.
Common Colonoscopy Errors
Several things can go wrong with colonoscopies which result in avoidable injuries to patients. For example:
- A doctor might overlook cancerous growths during the colonoscopy. As a result, a patient does not receive timely and correct treatment.
- A doctor might puncture the colon with the camera, resulting in an infection and possibly death.
- A doctor fails to recommend a colonoscopy and therefore fails to diagnose problems.
- Improper sedation leading to plunging blood pressure or other complications.
- Failure to monitor a patient’s vital signs during the colonoscopy, leading to a failure to properly address complications.
- An infection sets in because the instruments were not sufficient sterilized.
Many of these errors result in serious injuries and death. Even if a patient lives, he probably has incurred thousands of dollars in medical bills because of the doctor’s medical negligence.
Complications to Watch For
If you are feeling unwell, or if you notice rectal bleeding, you should consult your doctor immediately. Often, people who undergo a colonoscopy experience light bleeding if the doctor has removed a polyp. However, continued or heavy bleeding raises concerns.
Perforations in particular are deadly and you might need surgery to close the perforation. If you notice stomach pain or develop a fever, you should go to the doctor immediately.
In other cases, you might not realize the doctor has been negligent until you receive a cancer diagnose. The purpose of the colonoscopy is to find and treat colon cancer. If a doctor has been careless, he might have overlooked tumors that will only grow worse. You should speak with an attorney to check whether the doctor was negligent.
Medical malpractice cases involving colonoscopies are covered by Florida statute 95.11. This law gives injured victims only 2 years to file a lawsuit if they were injured. Some exceptions apply, such as when you could not reasonably discover your doctor’s negligence within the 2-year window of time, but you should avoid delay.
Contact Bundza & Rodriguez right away. One of our Volusia County medical malpractice attorneys can meet with you to analyze whether you have a valid legal claim against your doctor or another medical professional. We will probably need to see your medical records as well as information about how much money you have spent dealing with the doctor’s mistake.
Please contact us today by calling 386-252-5170 or filling out our contact sheet.