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Ruptured Bowel

A ruptured bowel can lead to chronic pain, infections, and adhesions where tissues stick together, potentially causing bowel obstructions. Patients might also experience problems related to the initial cause of the rupture, such as inflammatory bowel disease flare-ups. Additionally, if the bowel’s function is significantly impacted, issues with digestion and nutrient absorption can occur. Surgery to repair the rupture might also result in complications like hernias at the incision sites.

X-ray of ruptured bowel

Helpful Information

A ruptured bowel, also known as a perforated bowel, is a serious medical condition where a hole or tear develops in the wall of the small or large intestine. This tear allows the contents of the intestine to leak into the abdominal cavity, leading to infection and potentially life-threatening peritonitis. Causes can include trauma, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease, blockages, and ulcers. Symptoms often include severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Immediate medical attention and often surgery are required to repair the perforation and prevent complications. In scenarios where a negligent or malicious third-party is directly responsible for the cause of the rupture, it may be possible to bring an injury compensation claim.

What sort of negligent behaviours can cause a ruptured bowel?

Medical negligence can sometimes be the cause of a ruptured bowel. For example, failing to diagnose or properly treat conditions like appendicitis, bowel obstructions, or diverticulitis; surgical errors during abdominal operations; improper management of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases; and not adequately monitoring patients after abdominal trauma. Additionally, neglecting to recognise and address complications from medical devices or procedures, such as colonoscopies, that can inadvertently damage the bowel wall, may also lead to perforation.

Car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and violent assaults, can also lead to direct force impact on the abdomen, causing the bowel to tear or rupture. The severity of the rupture depends on the force of the impact and the nature of the trauma. If negligence played a role in an accident, for example a driver under the influence of alcohol, then it may be possible to bring a personal injury claim.

What are the more severe consequences of a ruptured bowel?

Severe consequences include peritonitis, a life-threatening infection of the abdominal cavity, sepsis, a body-wide response to infection leading to organ failure and potentially death, abscess formation within the abdomen, and prolonged hospitalisation with a need for multiple surgeries. Additionally, complications can arise from the treatment itself, such as surgical complications, adhesions (scar tissue formations causing organs to stick together), and long-term digestive issues. These outcomes significantly impact the patient’s quality of life and may require extensive medical intervention and rehabilitation to manage.

When is it possible to bring a compensation claim following a ruptured bowel?

A compensation claim may be possible if the rupture was due to medical negligence, such as misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, surgical errors, or inadequate care. It can also be pursued if the injury resulted from accidents or assaults where another party is at fault or has liability. The key is to prove that the rupture was caused or worsened by another’s action or inaction.

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is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

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