Endoscopy Complications and Medical Malpractice Claims

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Millions of patients receive an endoscopy procedure each year in the United States. Sadly, a small number of patients become the victims of medical malpractice. Lawyer Robert “Bobby” Jones in Greenville explains your rights and options if you are a victim of medical malpractice.

Understanding Endoscopy Procedures

What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy is a medical procedure where a tube is inserted into the esophagus. A camera is attached to the tube. The camera takes images of the stomach, esophagus, and small intestine.

Types of endoscopy

Looking at the digestive tract through an endoscopy is also called an upper endoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or gastrointestinal endoscopy. In addition to upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and laparoscopy are also endoscopic procedures. They examine other parts of the body like the colon, large intestine, rectum, liver, and reproductive organs.

Why would someone get an endoscopy?

An endoscopy may diagnose or treat conditions in the upper digestive tract. It is an investigative tool, but it can also be used to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Tissue samples can be collected during the procedure. The tissue can then be tested. An endoscopic ultrasound can be used for imaging to assist in diagnosis.

Treatment using an endoscopy may take several forms. It can remove pre-cancerous polyps. Devices can be inserted to treat an ulcer. A gallstone can be removed. Food or other foreign debris may be removed from the upper intestinal tract. An area may be dilated, and air or fluid may be injected.

Risks and Complications Of Getting an Endoscopy

An endoscopy is a complicated medical device. It has many small pieces and crevices. The design of the device makes it hard to clean. Infection is a risk even with sterilization efforts. One study found that as many as 31% of stored endoscopes had bacterial contamination. The devices are reused, and that can make them ripe for contamination.

Despite risks, an endoscopy can be thoroughly cleaned and free of dangerous bacteria before use. A person cleaning the device should be fully trained. They should follow manufacturer instructions and their training. They should not work hastily. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recommends using a brush and flushing chemicals through the scope to remove any contamination.

FDA Regulation of Duodenoscopes

The FDA regulates medical devices. Duodenoscopes, used for endoscopy procedures, are Class II devices. The risk to patient safety is medium. If a hospital or manufacturer learns that a device may have contributed to death or injury, they must report it.

Endoscopy Complications and Medical Malpractice Claims

Complications from endoscopy may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Tearing or perforation
  • Poor reaction to anesthesia

Symptoms of endoscopy complications

Any of the following may be a sign of an endoscopy complication:

  • Chest pain that worsens
  • Fever, chills
  • Discomfort
  • Vomiting, nausea
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloody stool

It can be hard to distinguish between symptoms that are normal following an endoscopy and what might be signs of a problem. It’s normal to have a sore throat and slight pain. However, symptoms may be a sign of a serious complication.

Medical Malpractice and Endoscopy Procedures

If complications arise from an endoscopy, it may be a sign of medical malpractice. Whether medical malpractice has occurred depends on the reason for the complication. If your injuries are the result of negligence or recklessness, you may be a victim.

The question is whether the healthcare provider performed services meeting the level of an ordinary practitioner with expected learning and skill. A reasonable practitioner would ensure that the device is sanitized before use. They would take measures to prevent perforation. They would respond within a reasonable time period if the patient experiences an adverse reaction to sedation.

A lawyer can investigate the causes of what occurred. They can work with medical experts to review your injury and the possible causes. They can gather facts from your specific situation and evaluate how the law applies to your case.

Lawyer for Endoscopy Complication and Medical Malpractice

If you have been injured by an endoscopy procedure or you have concerns about your procedure, we invite you to contact Robert “Bobby” Jones. He is a medical malpractice lawyer in Greenville, SC, willing to assist victims and their families of those who have been harmed by an endoscopy complication.

Talk with lawyer Bobby Jones about your case and learn about your options. It is his goal for you to receive justice and the financial compensation that you deserve for your injuries and suffering. Contact us today.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Named to Super Lawyers 2017–2024
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
  • Named among Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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