How can i find out if i have merits for a medical malpractice case of perforated colon?

Asked over 1 year ago - Houston, TX

My mother was constantly sick towards the end of April and in and out of the hospital. Her symptoms were fever, nausea, and shakes. She would be admitted inpatient for days receiving antibiotics. Only to be home a few days and sick again with nausea, loss of appetite unable to eat food basically on a liquid diet and starting to have severe headaches with the shakes. Prescription would be called in for the nausea and headaches. She went into the hospital May 9th and was released Tuesday May 14 with the above symptoms. Thursday evening sick again with the above symptoms but accompanied with bad stomach pains. Went to local ER by ambulance and X-ray taken and shows air. Several hrs before transported to diff. Hospital. Emergency surgery friday morning my mother dead Sun. Morning

Additional information

I did not ask for an autopsy. Death certificate states Sepsis first then Perforated Diverticulitis. I just don't understand how this happened. She had been sick with the same symptoms and every time she was admitted to the hospital she was placed on vancomycin.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Mickey David Larson

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Contact a local, reputable medical malpractice attorney immediately. You can find one on here by using Avvo's "Find a Lawyer" above. He or she can help you order the appropriate records so that they can be reviewed by a medical expert if such a review is warranted. I'm currently handling a case on behalf of a woman who has a similar story, except that the perforation was diagnosed just in time to save her life. I wish you and your family the best. Take care.

    My discussion with you regarding the question you posted on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship,... more
  2. Brian Heath Crockett

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    Answered . These cases are based on a failure to diagnosis. Generally, we would need to review the medical records, as well as, obtain the autopsy report. Only after the records are reviewed, will we know if there is a case. If you have any questions or just want to know your rights, please do not hesitate to call or ask. Good luck and I am sorry for your loss.

    Know YOUR Rights. Take Action Now. CALL 855-648-4695. Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal... more
  3. Christian K. Lassen II

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    Answered . I'm sorry to hear about this. Typically a risk incident to the procedure, but you can call a local malpractice lawyer who can tell you the same thing.

  4. Elizabeth Taylor Herd

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    Answered . Sounds like Mr Crockett has given you some specific advice. Even if your mother experienced a risk of the procedure it sounds as though an investigation should be conducted to determine what the delay in identifying this known risk was. If a provider knows and warns of a risk they certainly should be in the look out for it. I hope that your family will experience comfort in this time of a very real loss.

  5. Ilya Novofastovsky

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . Take the records to a medical malpractice specialist to review. We have had tremendous success with perforation cases, but defendants always start off contesting them. Staging of the procedure (prep), informing the patient, intraoperative skill, differential diagnosis, follow up and even billing have been factors. Make sure that you turn to someone who does in-house medical research and analysis (for example, we have a former nurse and doctor on staff). Good luck.

    These discussions are not a substitute for a lawyer's investigation and analysis, which are required for final... more
  6. Lars A. Lundeen

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    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

    You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guide I have published on Avvo.com which deals with medical malpractice and what it is. You can access the Guide through my profile page.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  7. Chris G. Hoffman

    Contributor Level 7

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    Answered . The other posts are correct that you need to have the records reviewed by a medical malpractice attorney to know for sure. I'm speculating a bit but it sounds as if your mother had undiagnosed diverticulitis which progressed to the point that the colon perforated resulting in sepsis and death. Diverticula are pockets in the wall of the colon that become infected and can eventually weaken the wall of the colon to the point that it ruptures if they are left untreated. If you allow someone to get the point of perforation, then there is a good chance they will die and/or have serious complications. Ultimately, you have to have the records reviewed though because there may be a lot that you don't know in terms of what the doctors were thinking and why they did what the did.

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