Do I have a lawsuit?

My dad passed away 2 weeks ago from a
perforated bowel that ultimately put him in
septic shock. He was a resident at a nursing
home. How can someone become so
constipated that their bowel perforates when
receiving 24hour care? Should I get this looked
into?

Asked on June 12, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Do you have any medical opinion that the bowel performation was due to the nursing home's negligence or unreasonable carelessness, such as in not monitoring or paying attention to his condition in this way? That is the key issue: they are liable if, under current or contemporary standards of care in a facility like this, they should have caught the issue in time to to prevent your father's passing. But if under acceptable standards of care, they would not necessarily be expected to have caught this, then they are not liable: medical care providers are liable when they don't do what is normally expected of them, and not simply becaue a patient had a bad, even catastrophic outcome. So getting a sense from medical experts (e.g. a gerenotologist) about what would be expected of a nursing home in this regard is the place to start, to see if you may have a case or not.


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