Intestinal Ischemia Lawyer serving Pittsburgh, Erie, and across Pennsylvania
Intestinal ischemia is the name for a variety of conditions that cause a decrease in blood flow to the intestines. Blood flow usually decreases because of blocked arteries, but several blockages and other conditions can cause ischemia, as well. Intestinal ischemia can affect both the small and large intestines.
Intestinal ischemia can be acute or chronic. In acute ischemia, the symptoms develop suddenly, whereas chronic ischemia’s symptoms develop gradually over time. Sufferers of chronic ischemia often have abdominal cramps 1-3 hours after eating and may avoid food because eating causes pain. They may also have unintentional weight loss or suffer from frequent bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting. Contact our Pittsburgh Intestinal Ischemia Lawyer today for a free initial consultation.
Acute intestinal ischemia’s symptoms are more forceful and urgent. Patients with acute ischemia can have frequent, forceful bowel movements, urgency, bloody stools, and abdominal tenderness or distention. Acute ischemia can lead to fevers and infections. Older adults with acute ischemia may experience confusion.
When properly diagnosed, intestinal ischemia is generally not fatal. Fluids, anticoagulants, and medications that increase blood pressure can all help ischemia patients recover quickly. In some cases, ischemia has already killed part of the patient’s bowel. If this is caught in time, though, doctors can usually remove the impacted part of the bowel without inducing life-altering complications.
Who Is at Risk?
Patients with diseases or conditions that cause blood clots or increase the risk of clots are at risk for intestinal ischemia. Many medications list blood clots as a side effect; patients who take these are also at high risk. Sickle cell anemia, phospholipid syndrome, and other blood or fat disorders can all cause acute or chronic ischemia.
Fatty deposits in the arteries often lead to intestinal ischemia. Overweight or obese patients are at risk, as are patients with high cholesterol, diabetes, or any heart condition. Being over 50 and smoking increases a patient’s risk of developing ischemia, as well.
Intestinal Ischemia and Malpractice
A delay in diagnosing or failing to diagnose intestinal ischemia can lead to malpractice suits. Ischemia can be difficult to diagnose because many of its symptoms, such as abdominal pain, frequent bowel movements, and bloody stools, are symptoms of more common conditions. However, intestinal ischemia must be diagnosed and treated quickly. Without treatment, patients’ intestinal tissue can die or their intestines or bowels can perorate. This often leads to serious complications and can sometimes be fatal.
Physicians who treat intestinal ischemia can also face malpractice charges if they fail to provide anticoagulant therapy or delay in providing it. Failure to provide medical treatment before infarction, or death of intestinal tissue, can lead to severe complication. Untreated infarction may cause death of the entire bowel.
Intestinal Ischemia Complications
Intestinal ischemia can have several severe complications that negatively impact the rest of patients’ lives. For example, the weight loss associated with intestinal ischemia can be so severe that patient ends up weighing a mere 65 pounds. The pain associated with ischemia can be so severe that patients writhe on the floor for relief. Intestinal ischemia can also be a surgical complication, especially after bowel-related operations. In some cases, physicians’ negligence can cause patients to need over five liters of excrement, pus, and other material removed from their stomachs.
Contact Us Today | Pittsburgh Intestinal Ischemia Lawyer | Erie, PA
Deborah Maliver and the other attorneys at BEM Law understand how frightening and serious intestinal ischemia is and how vital it is to obtain care quickly. Deborah Maliver is both an attorney and a board-certified internist. She is an expert at analyzing cases for medical mistakes and helping patients receive the compensation they are due. Dr. Maliver and our other attorneys personally oversee each of their cases. Consultations are free. Contact us today for assistance with your ischemia case.