Colonoscopies are quite common. Anyone going in for one should expect that their doctor knows how to properly perform it, without having to worry about complications. Judging by one man's experience, it doesn't always work out that way.
A Pennsylvania man who went into the hospital for a routine colonoscopy and came out with a perforated colon has won a $2 million verdict award against his doctors. In his medical malpractice lawsuit, the 62-year-old man says the physicians were responsible for him needing two feet of his colon removed after it became perforated during tests.
The man reportedly went to Willis Eye Hospital in late January 2008 for the colonoscopy. He claims the physician who performed the procedure severely overinflated his colon.
After complaining of severe pain the day following the surgery, he was apparently instructed to visit the emergency room, where a CT scan apparently did not show free air, which would have meant there was a perforation in his colon.
He was apparently given antibiotics and monitored. However, a scan several days later showed a perforation, and he had to undergo emergency surgery for repairs, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
At the jury trial late in October in Philadelphia, jurors decided the doctor who performed the colonoscopy was 60 percent negligent, while a doctor who performed follow-up work for repairs was 40 percent negligent in causing the man's injuries. It seems that the jury believed the argument that the man's colon was overinflated during the colonoscopy.
Source: Post-Gazette, "Colonoscopy lawsuit results in $2 million award," Gina Passarella, Oct. 24, 2011