When Can A Ruptured Bowel Lead To A Medical Negligence Claim?


This article deals with the causes of a rupture to the bowel, the consequences, and also what action you can take, if any, to make a claim for compensation.

What Is A Ruptured Bowel?

A ruptured or perforated bowel is a hole in the stomach, small intestine or large intestine. This can be caused by mistake during surgery to any of the organs around the bowels with a surgeon accidentally puncturing the bowel. The problem occurs if the surgeon fails to notice that he has created a hole and closes up the patient without repairing it.

Causes of A Bowel Rupture.

The most common causes of a bowel rupture is a penatration injury, such as during surgery or through a knife wound. However, crushing injuries which can occur during car accidents or other accidents can also cause a bowel to rupture.


Normally the rupture is diagnosed by an X-Ray or a CT scan which shows the air that has escaped into the peritoneal cavity.

Symptoms Of A Ruptured Bowel.

Symptoms of a ruptured or perforated bowel can include a high temperature, sickness and extreme pain. The rupture most commonly happens to the small intestine, followed by the stomach being the next most common area to rupture and then the large intestine.

All of this is caused as when your bowel is ruptured it allows food or faeces to leak from your bowels into the abdomen or for air to seep into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to severe inflammation and infection of the abdomen which rapidly can spread and become serious or even fatal if not diagnosed and treated. A ruptured bowel needs to be detected early to ensure that the repair can be made by the surgeon as soon as possible.

Surgery For A Ruptured Bowel.

Surgery is required as soon as the rupture is detected to repair the rupture and to clean the abdomen to remove any leaked faeces or food.

After surgery the patient will be provided with high levels of antibiotics to ensure that any infections are prevented.

Does The Rupture Amount To Medical Negligence?

There are two main occasions when you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence compenstion following a ruptured bowel. These are:

* Misdiagnosis or * Surgery causing the rupture

We will look at each of these in turn.


If you are admitted to hospital, for example following a car accident, and are complaining of abdominal pain, have a fever and are showing the other signs of a bowel rupture, you should be referred for an X-Ray or CT Scan. If the surgeon does not take this action for some time or at all, leading to severe pain and longterm suffering, you may be able to make a claim for compensation as a result of the surgeon’s misdiagnosis.


If the bowel is ruptured during surgery by the surgeon but he does not notice at the time, once again this may lead to a claim for compensation for medical negligence.

What Can You Do?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above following a crushing injury or recent surgery you should immediately consult an Accident and Emergency unit or call your Doctor.


Source by Nick Jervis