I saw a gastroenteroligist for severe indigestion. I asked for an upper endoscopy for diagnosis but was told that since I am an African American female the cause was my diet. She never once asked me what my diet consisted of. She then told me that Afr Amer females are at a high risk and it was necessary to perform a colonoscopy sooner than the recommended age of 50 for everyone else.
I told the doctor that no one in my family has ever had a problem in that area and that I only had a Vitamin D deficiency. She went on to say that African American women didn't get enough sun.
Four days after she performed the colonoscopy I started hemmoraging and had to be rushed to the hospital and admitted to the ICU and prepped for a second colonoscopy to repair the first one. The final bill $5000.
Sounds like a horrible experience. What's missing from your account, which is necessary to a malpractice claim, is the opinion of a second gastroenterologist that your hemorrhage was caused by the first gastroenterologist's negligence, rather than something else (like complications that sometimes occur in colonoscopies, or something intrinsically related to the problems that landed you in a gastroenterologist's office in the first place). A lawyer who handles malpractice case would, as a general principle of law, need an opinion of this nature to prevail in a malpractice case. Consult a lawyer where you live to obtain legal advice based on a thorough review of all relevant facts.
Not legal advice as I don't practice law in Maryland. It's just my two cents based on general principles pertaining to malpractice claims. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Maryland licensure. That's not me.
Good luck and I wish you a complete recovery.
There is a defense to medical malpractice actions called risk of the procedure. Bleeding and perforation of the bowel are generally recognized risks of colonoscopy procedures. It is usually very difficult to prove that a complication of a colonoscopy was caused by negligence and was avoidable. Moreover, medical malpractice cases are time consuming and very expensive to bring. Medical malpractice lawyers will rarely undertake such cases unless the injuries are much more severe than what you describe, since their compensation is based upon what they recover for the client.
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