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While in all instances bowel obstruction can be life threatening, its causes can be varied. Bowel obstruction can result from blunt force trauma to surgical errors. Any bowel obstruction, regardless of the cause is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately. Failure to do so can lead to peritonitis, septic shock and death.
When the small intestine or large intestine is obstructed, a patient may experience symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, and bloating. Diagnostic tests must be performed in order to confirm a diagnosis and treatment of small intestine obstruction.
When obstruction involves a newborn, symptoms may include green vomit and/or failure to make a bowel movement.
If your physician suspects a bowel obstruction, an abdominal X-ray may help to determine the source of the problem. A CT scan can help to determine if the obstruction is partial or complete and will help guide the proper course of treatment.
As in most cases of serious injury, the diagnosis and treatment of a bowel obstruction has to be performed in a timely fashion in order to prevent further injury and complications.
Your 37 year old client's bowel obstruction went undiagnosed and untreated despite examinations by an emergency room physician, her primary care physician, and a surgeon. As a result, she suffered multi-system organ failure and end stage renal disease necessitating a kidney transplant.