Serving Clients Throughout Upstate New York with Multiple Convenient Locations Syracuse | Oneida | Watertown | New Hartford | Binghamton | Cortland | Rochester | Oswego | Albany | Buffalo
Super Lawyers
Justia Lawyer Rating
Rue Ratings - Best Attorneys of America
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Avvo Rating
Martindalle Hubbel
Best Law Firms

Failure to Diagnose Bowel Obstruction or Bowel Perforation

Syracuse Lawyers Representing Victims of Medical Malpractice

The digestive tract performs many distinct functions. For example, food is processed in the digestive tract, and waste products from this system are stored in the bowel at the end of the tract. If the bowel is obstructed the food can no longer travel the full path. The result may be bowel perforation. Bowels can become obstructed because of digestive disease, surgery, diet, or trauma. If you were harmed by a health care provider’s failure to diagnose your bowel obstruction or perforation, an experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorney at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help.

Failure to Diagnose Bowel Obstruction or Bowel Perforation

There are complex functions performed in the digestive tract. Sometimes diseases such as ulcerative colitis or gastric ulcers cause bowel obstruction. Signs and symptoms of bowel obstruction can include constipation, diarrhea, intense vomiting, inability to pass gas, high fever, abdominal bloating, cramping, tenderness, and abdominal pain. A failure to diagnose a bowel obstruction or bowel perforation can result in sepsis. If no corrective surgery is performed nor intravenous antibiotics given, a patient can die.

Doctors who are faced with signs and symptoms of bowel obstruction should act immediately. Usually, the proper treatment is a surgery to clear the bowel obstruction. Sometimes a colonoscopy or NG tube is the appropriate treatment. When a treatment procedure is not performed, the result can be perforation of the bowel. When a bowel is perforated, toxins are released, and the consequences may include sepsis. Sepsis, in turn, must be diagnosed and quickly treated because if it progresses, antibiotics may no longer be efficacious.

Sometimes a patient comes in having suffered a bowel perforation. This is not always due to a bowel obstruction, but may be the result of Crohn’s disease, digestive disease, surgical scar tissue, a mistake with a hysterectomy, diverticulitis, intestinal blockage, or open or laparoscopic intestinal surgery.

Liability for Medical Malpractice

Any untreated obstruction can cause parts of the intestinal walls to break. Human waste from the digestive tract may then enter the blood, resulting in infection or sepsis that the body will need to fight off. If you or a loved one suffered from a failure to diagnose a bowel obstruction or perforation, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other losses. Establishing liability for medical malpractice requires you to show (1) your health care provider owed you a professional duty of care, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. A knowledgeable medical negligence attorney can assess how these elements may apply in your case.

A failure to diagnose bowel obstruction or perforation may be a breach of the professional duty of care, but it depends on the particular situation, as well as the characteristics of the patient. The failure must have caused harm; if the harm would have occurred at that particular point in time regardless of diagnosis, there would be no medical malpractice. Every case is unique. In order to establish medical malpractice, you will need to retain a credible, knowledgeable expert to opine on what the professional duty of care was under the circumstances, whether there was a breach of the professional duty of care, and whether the actions constituting a breach caused injuries.


If you can establish liability for a failure to diagnose bowel obstruction or perforation, you can recover compensatory damages from the negligent parties. These are damages intended to make you whole following your injuries, and can include coverage for items such as medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering.

Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Syracuse

At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our lawyers represent patients harmed by acts of negligence including failure to diagnose a bowel obstruction or bowel perforation in and near Syracuse. We also sue negligent health care providers for damages in Rochester, Utica, Cooperstown, Lyons, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Watertown, Lowville, Delhi, Oswego, Herkimer, Norwich, Ithaca, Binghamton, Oneida, Auburn and Elmira. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY