Complications of Colonoscopies Due to Negligence

portland medical malpractice lawyers amputations due to misdiagnosed sepsis

Are the Complications of Colonoscopies Worth it? Why are Colonoscopies Performed in Oregon

Colonoscopies are quite common and in fact, are one of the most common procedures performed. They carry very little risk despite requiring sedation. According to Healthline, complications of colonoscopies occur in 2.8% of people or procedures.  As you can see, most colonoscopies are performed uneventfully, but there are some people that are not as fortunate. Some complications of colonoscopies can be very serious and can result in permanent damage or even death. The average lifetime risk of getting colon cancer is 1 in 22 men and 1 and 24 in women. Colonoscopies are generally performed to screen for colon cancer, but can also be performed for other reasons such as:

  • Lower GI bleeding
  • Acute or chronic diarrhea
  • Foreign body removal
  • Abnormal radiologic examination 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Surveillance after polyp removal
  • Chronic constipation
  • Excision of known lesions
  • Unexplained abdominal pain or cramping

How is a Colonoscopy Performed? 

During a colonoscopy, a flexible, lubricated tube containing a camera is inserted into the rectum. The physician uses this to inflate the colon with forced air. This is done to allow the camera to pass easily through the intestines while also minimizing friction. During the procedure, the physician uses the camera to navigate through the intestines. During this, he or she may remove polyps, take biopsies of any areas of concern, and also may repair any damaged tissue. If the colonoscopy procedure goes well, that is the extent of the procedure. 

Colonoscopy Errors Due to Medical Malpractice in Oregon

While the vast majority of colonoscopies are performed without incident, occasionally complications occur that can be life threatening or may result in pain and suffering of the patient or may result in permanent physical damage. These complications can be due to errors made by the physician. Sometimes, the physician may notice the mistake but will try to hide the mistake and will omit the complication from the procedure record. Complications of colonoscopies include the following: 

 – Perforated intestine – This can occur when the physician punctures or tears the colon or rectum wall. Small perforations may require close monitoring, bedrest and antibiotics while larger tears are considered an emergency and require immediate surgical intervention. A perforated investing can lead to internal bleeding, sepsis, peritonitis, or many other serious complications. Symptoms of bowel perforation include severe abdominal pain, nausea, fever, vomiting, and chills. 

  • Bleeding – While some bleeding can be normal if a biopsy or a polyp is removed, excessive bleeding is not normal and is cause for concern. This may be due to harm to the tissue from the scope or tools used during the colonoscopy.  Significant bleeding can require a blood transfusion or may even lead to death. 
  • Infection is unlikely but can occasionally occur if medical centers have inadequate infection control measures
  • Improper use of tools – Unfortunately not all physicians follow the proper guidelines when performing colonoscopies. Trying to use tools not indicated for what the physician is trying to do can cause serious personal injuries. Additionally, a novice (or even experienced physician) may accidentally forget to keep the tool sheathed inside of the instrument which can lead to serious tissue damage, perforation, and other injuries. 
  • Complete negligence – If a physician finds that a patient did not sufficiently complete their bowel prep and the colon is difficult to visualize, the procedure should be aborted. Attempting to push the scope through can lead to significant injury.
  • Failure to identify a suspicious polyp or mass – If a physician fails to act or thoroughly examine the colon, cancerous polyps or masses can be missed. This can lead to delay in diagnosis of colon cancer which can allow the cancer to spread, potentially requiring the patient to undergo more extensive treatment. It also may change the overall prognosis of the patient, making their cancer incurable if detected too late. 

How Can Our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers Help You?

Our Oregon medical malpractice lawyers can help you by protecting your rights and will ensure you receive the justice you deserve for negligence on behalf of the physician during your colonoscopy. People who undergo colonoscopies should not have to live with lifelong or perhaps deadly consequences due to the hands of a physician. People who suffered injury or other consequences as a as a result of a physicians mistake may be entitled to damages. Damages are often awarded in the form of compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering amongst many other indications for damages. 

Our Oregon medical malpractice lawyers are specially trained and ready to review your case if you were a victim of a colonoscopy error that negatively impacted your health, leading to extensive medical treatment, surgeries, delay in diagnosis of cancer or other medical condition, a lower survival rate or more aggressive treatment course due to delay in diagnosis. 

Get Started with Our Lawyers at NO Upfront Cost for Cases Involving Complications of Colonoscopies

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

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