A medical malpractice case in which a perforated bowel went undetected after gallbladder surgery. In spite of post-operative fever, pain, and a distended abdomen, the surgeon who had performed the gallbladder operation, did not evaluate the patient for eight hours in spite of repeated phone calls from the the nursing staff and blood gas testing that revealed possible sepsis. When the patient was evaluated, the surgeon did not detect the perforated bowel. Thirty hours later, further surgery was undertaken to fix the perforated bowel. However, further damage had been done and the patient spent five months in the hospital and needed several additional surgeries for abdominal infections. Due to the treatment delay, the patient suffered reduced blood flow to the extremities causing gangrene requiring amputation.
Because of a delayed diagnosis and the lack of timely and accurate follow-up, this patient suffered needlessly.
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