Pain compensation for bowel perforation

Pain compensation for bowel perforation

Doctor has to pay pain compensation to patients for bowel perforation

A resident surgeon from Bielefeld has to pay 220,000 euros in compensation for damages plus compensation to a patient because the patient suffered an intestinal breakthrough (colon perforation) with severe consequences during an colonoscopy (colonoscopy). The court based its judgment on the inadequate, insufficient information provided by the doctor about the possible risks and consequences of the procedure.

Intestinal perforation patient receives 220,000 euros in pain and suffering After a 48-year-old man was referred from his family doctor to the surgeon for bleeding during bowel movements, a colonoscopy was performed on the patient, in which polyps were removed. However, nine days after the procedure, serious complications occurred, so that the man had to undergo emergency surgery and intensive medical care for several months. Among other things, he suffered from peritonitis. The complications mean that the man is now retired early and is 100 percent severely disabled. An artificial bowel exit had to be created in the patient.

Since the man reportedly informed the resident surgeon about his complaints shortly after the procedure, but the surgeon did not initiate the necessary treatment, the 48-year-old filed a complaint with the Higher Regional Court in Hamm (OLG). The surgeon denied his patient's call. According to the judges, the crucial question is whether the patient has actually phoned his doctor and informed him about his symptoms. Rather, the man's complaint was upheld because he was not sufficiently informed by his doctor about the risks and consequences of colonoscopy, the judges ruled. The declaration of consent, which the 48-year-old had signed before the procedure, did not indicate the rare but very serious complication of the perforation of the intestine.

"The handing over and signing of forms and leaflets do not replace the necessary informational discussion, and it is even more difficult to tell from them that the patient has been informed about a risk that has not been expressly mentioned", judged the judges (file number: 26 U 85/12). The man had been able to demonstrate in court that if he had known about the risk, he would not have had the procedure done easily.

Intestinal breakthrough is life-threatening An intestinal perforation is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. In any case, an operation must be carried out in which the open area in the intestine is closed. If intestinal contents have already entered the abdominal cavity, life-threatening infections can occur. Affected patients receive antibiotic therapy to kill dangerous germs. (ag)

Image: GG-Berlin /

Author and source information

Video: Intern Content: Cirrhosis II Chronic Decompensation - OnlineMedEd (November 2020).