Family And Doctors Reach Settlement For Death Of Forty Six Year Old Woman

Though a colonoscopy is normally recommended as a screening tool for colorectal cancer for individuals who are fifty years old and older, doctors usually recognize that reports of rectal bleeding by a patient merit performing a colonoscopy even if the patient is younger than fifty. Regardless of whether a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy is performed, though, if the examination is not complete and adequate visualization was not achieved, doctors normally recommendedthat the procedure should be done again. This article considers a wrongful death matter in which these two practices were dismissed by treating doctors.

In this example, a woman complained to her doctor that she was having constipation and observed rectal bleeding throughout a five week interval. This continued for another month. She was forty six years old at the time. Now the primary care physician scheduled her for a consultation with a gastroenterologist to do a sigmoidoscopy to check for the reason for the bleeding and constipation. But, the gastroenterologist only did a sigmoidoscopy rather than a colonoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy merely lets the physician examine up to 40 cm from the anus. While the sigmoidoscopy only permits examination of a limited section of the colon, the doctor documented that the sigmoidoscopy was not finished and that it had not been possible to examine the full length even of the sigmoid. Despite the poor visualization, the gastroenterologist failed to suggest that the procedure be repeated so as to properly examine the sigmoid.

The woman saw her physician for 2 yearly physicals after that and each time told him that she kept experiencing problems with constipation. At one point the physician spoke with the patient’s daughter and although he told her he would give some thought to a colonoscopy at some point in the future he proposed that the patient was suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and simply should eat more fiber. Later on he told the patient to begin taking lactulose. Ultimately, when a physical examination showed abdominal tenderness and a structure suspicious for stool in the colon, the physician ordered a check of her thyroid and at last referred her for a colonoscopy.

Roughly two weeks later, the woman ended up in the emergency room when she experience pain and vomiting while prepping for a colonoscopy. The emergency room physician found that she had a distended abdomen and could hear hyperactive bowel sounds. in addition, the woman had abdominal tenderness, mostly on the lower left. Given these symptoms the hospital physician had her get. The scan found a mass in the sigmoid with metastasis. Two weeks later the patient underwent surgery to take out the 4.2 cm mass. The surgeon found that her cancer had spread throughout a variety of organs. She began chemotherapy for stage 4 colorectal cancer. She died a little over four months following her surgery.

The womans family initiated a lawsuit against the family doctor and gastroenterologist. The law firm that represented the family was able to resolve the case with a settlement in the amount of $2.0 million. The law restricts the time you have to file a lawsuit so if a family member died of advanced cancer and you think they were the victim of medical malpractice you ought to contact a lawyer immediately to establish whether you may have a valid case.