Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

mmm no... when I was first told I was going to need to have a total colectomy I thought about this, because in my delusion I was thinking I would get better, and cotors just wanted to do the "easy route" and get rid of my colon because I had  been in the hospital too long (3 months, very expensive hospital I mustve costed my insurance a nice ammount of money).
But after 24 hours I realized the surgery was going to save my my life. So in my case, I really did need it, and doctors tried everything, but my bleeding was uncontrollable. 

Hi Sofi

My situation was different. I had to have to surgery because my colon could perforate anytime. I also could not believe it when I first heard it. It was such a big trauma.

As for malpractice, I progressed from just a focal inflammation in the colon, evidenced with a CT scan, to severe pancolitis -again evidenced with a CT scan- in a month. During that month, I had three visits with my GI. He did not treat me with steroids and biologics. He only gave me mesalamine for IBD.

During my last visit, which was one day before hospitalization, I was crying in his office.  He even mentions this in his records, but he simply sent me home with anti-nausea medication that day, because I had started throwing up.  I was bleeding with watery diarrhea 15 times a day, sometimes just pure red blood, I was up all night covered in sweats, throwing up, which are all in the medical records. But he just gave me mesalamine.

Now, a medical expert says, if my GI had given me high dose steroids and biologics, my colon would likely be saved. I have a meeting with my lawyer tomorrow, so I wanted to hear if anyone had a malpractice case for losing their colon. If I am the only one here with a case, I must be the most unlucky person on this site.

Nope. 

Mine was. Elective surgery. 

And you do sign consent forms that protect the hospital surgeon. 

Sure. 

Had I stayed on remicsde.... Which I add worked well.... And not been told to get off it for a hernia surgery and finding out later I didn't have to get off it after having it work so well. But that was way in the past. I have no regrets. Remicsde would have stopped working at some point probably and I'd still be where I am. 

Nothing in this battle is 100 percent a sure thing.  

R. 

@CMLSucks posted:

Even if you had gone through biologics there is no guarantee that you would still have your colon. 

That's really the key question here.  The articulation by the OP about the severity and rapidity of her disease process leads me to believe that the answer to this question is very very iffy, and a good med mal defense attorney has a field day with questions like this.  Biologics are not a panacea that work magic in every case, they are themselves iffy treatments with potentially serious complications. I happen to be an attorney and I have some limited experience with medical malpractice litigation, and many/most potential claims get scared off because of the huge expenses involved.  In Connecticut you need a good faith certificate that medical malpractice has occurred, from a similar specialist, before you can even get into court, and that medical opinion will likely cost you $5000 or more. And even if the answer is "no", the $5,000+ is owed to the independent medical expert. Most people run the other way when they hear they might be on the hook for such an expense - before even knowing whether they can proceed.  So it's a "put your money where your mouth is" situation here, and from what I have seen, a lot of people just cannot or will not do so.

 

Last edited by CTBarrister

Thanks for everyone for their input. There are details missing from my post, and I don't want to list every detail here. I got hospitalized twice before the colon was gone, so it took one more month of under-treatment, total 2 months of under-treatment for the colon to die.

I had a meeting with my lawyer, and we do have a case. There is an expert, a director of an IBD research center who supports our case as a witness. The Dr violated the AGA guidelines for treatment of IBD by keeping a patient with severe flare on mesalamine, not prescribing steroids, not prescribing biologics, not performing a colonoscopy, not sending me to a tertiary center etc.

I was crying in his office due to the pain, reporting symptoms of a severe flare (15+ bloody bowel movements) for many visits, yet he still just kept me on mesalamine. Not even steroids. I actually had never heard of 'prednisone' before all this.

I guess proving that there is neglect is so straightforward in my case that, proving that the proper treatment would save me from colectomy with 100 percent confidence, is secondary.

I would like to hear from people who actually had a malpractice claim.

Last edited by Elif
@Elif posted:

Hi

Has anyone filed a medical malpractice case for losing their colon? If yes, what was your experience?

It’s not that you’re the most unluckiest person on this site; it’s probably because we’ve experienced so many debilitating flare ups, that once we’ve recovered from surgery; it’s such a phenomenal relief, after years of illness, not feeling so good, even when in remission, that we finally get our life back and maybe, we don’t want to be bogged down with a lawsuit.

Pursuing such a claim; apparently, would be in the region of £60,000.

Within the Uk, the legal precedence is Bolam Law, which I assume, will be the same in the US, which means: “ Would Medical Professionals, when presented with the same symptoms as yourself, follow the same course of action as your Doctor did.”

Last edited by Former Member
@Elif posted:

@Former Member

Thanks for your input. I guess if he prescribed at least steroids, or ordered a colonoscopy, then he could get away with Bolam Law.



State legal funding is provided to Counsel: which means, up to the opinion and expertise of a Barrister.

Once the Barrister reached his conclusion, Legal funding will stop.

The Barrister can reached his conclusion, despite a Doctor failing to prescribe medication, request stool samples, refer patient to Hospital and the A&E Dept Doctors can also failed to administer medication, carry out X rays or request an opinion from a GI Consultant.

Imagine how often a Barrister, funded by the state can reach a conclusion, on a daily basis and still gets paid.

You’ll need to find a pro bono Medical Negligence Lawyer or acquire means to financing your lawsuit; I’m certainly not attempting to discourage you; I’m just highlighting the possible and unforeseen pitfalls.

You’ll need to also confirm whether Bolam Law is a legal precedent within the US, before exploring this further.

Last edited by Former Member

@Former Member I already have a pro bono lawyer, and he found an expert witness, director of an IBD research center, who concluded that the treatment deviated from accepted norms of practice in the medical community. The lawyer is now about to proceed with the next steps, and I will see what happens next. That is why I posted here now. 

Even if nothing comes out of this, at least the negligent Dr will be subject to an investigation, and this will be in his records. That gives me a big relief. In your case, too, the doctors who did not treat you probably did not do the same mistake with the future UC patients that they treated, as they must had been informed of the investigation. If there were no investigation,  they would not even know what had happened to you the next day. In this regard, I think that the legal aid was not used in vain.  If every serious possible negligence claim were to be investigated, no matter how much the cost, it would deter dr’s from repeating the same mistakes again.

In the us, I believe there in a 2 year window to pursue a claim.

 

Last edited by Elif
@Elif posted:

Hi Sofi

My situation was different. I had to have to surgery because my colon could perforate anytime. I also could not believe it when I first heard it. It was such a big trauma.

As for malpractice, I progressed from just a focal inflammation in the colon, evidenced with a CT scan, to severe pancolitis -again evidenced with a CT scan- in a month. During that month, I had three visits with my GI. He did not treat me with steroids and biologics. He only gave me mesalamine for IBD.

During my last visit, which was one day before hospitalization, I was crying in his office.  He even mentions this in his records, but he simply sent me home with anti-nausea medication that day, because I had started throwing up.  I was bleeding with watery diarrhea 15 times a day, sometimes just pure red blood, I was up all night covered in sweats, throwing up, which are all in the medical records. But he just gave me mesalamine.

Now, a medical expert says, if my GI had given me high dose steroids and biologics, my colon would likely be saved. I have a meeting with my lawyer tomorrow, so I wanted to hear if anyone had a malpractice case for losing their colon. If I am the only one here with a case, I must be the most unlucky person on this site.

There would have been no way that I could have recovered all the times I did when I had UC without steroids. The reason why I now have a j pouch is because I changed doctors and his treatment was not correct. Thank god they reushed me to the Cleveland Clinic because they saved my life. I had a long reply to send to you in a private message but it wont let me send it to you..if you want me to send it in a private email let me know.

@Pilot Debby

I don't know why you could not send me a message, I get messages from other users. Please try again.

I am not surprised to hear what happened to you. I am sure many people on this site would have better outcomes if they had been treated by better Drs.

I think that most GIs know little about IBD, but they are not aware of it. Either because they don't follow current literature, and/or the treatment of this disease is not well established and rapidly changing. The AGA guidelines on UC in 2018 is a lot different than 2020, there is more emphasis in starting biologics in earlier stages of the disease in 2020, for example. Unless a Dr is on top of the current literature, they would not know.

I think the treatment of IBD should be restricted to IBD specialists, and j-pouch surgery should be restricted to surgeons who perform it in very large numbers in a year. 

There are studies showing that in the US male Drs do underestimate female patients' suffering, even when they report it. I think I became a victim of that. Also, this Dr just didn't care. He is the type that starts walking towards the door to end the visit even when you still have things to say. Even if I don't get anything from this, I hope he will pay for this somehow through this legal action.

When I met with 2 attorneys they stated it was hard to prove.

The 3rd attorney was also an MD, specializing in Med. Malpractice/ Negligence. I "consulted" with her at length, showing all my evidence. She told me IF I had died I would have had a case.....BUT, since I got better and survived, no thanks to my ORIGINAL negligent surgeon, I didn't have a case. (Otherwise my husband, could have sued for my "wrongful" death.) 

Twinkie,

A medical malpractice case is just a species of negligence, and in all negligence cases an attorney must prove liability and damages. The posts in this thread are all focused on liability issues and assume "there is a case" once liability is proven. Although liability is often a hurdle in medical malpractice cases, once a standard of care is shown to be violated, the attorney must also prove damages flowing from that breach of the standard of care. 

If a client has $15,000 in provable damages and liability is really really good, an attorney may still be very reluctant to take the case if he or she has to spend $20,000 on experts- $20,000 that will come out of the client's settlement. Client is out $5K in that situation, and there is no fee for the attorney or he or she eats the fee. That's why a lot of these cases do not get taken, they aren't cost efficient unless there are significant damages. It's all about litigation economics, which means putting something in the client's pocket other than a bill for experts, AND getting a fee that recognizes the work and effort needed to achieve a settlement or judgment that also gets something for the client.

With regard to the OP's case, unless I missing something, part of proving damages is that because the standard was breached, she lost her colon, and wouldn't have lost it otherwise. I am stuck on the "wouldn't have lost it otherwise" part.  I separate that issue of the legal viability of a medical malpractice claim from the issue of bringing a complaint against the doctor for mistreating her and not attempting other treatment, which may very well be a valid and worthwhile endeavor in itself. 

Last edited by CTBarrister

@CTBarrister Funny you mention "there is a case". I was aware that it was a not proper use of this phrase, but I didn't know how express what I meant. I knew that you, as a lawyer, would see the mistake

I guess the "wouldn't have lost it otherwise" part would be the main topic of argument between our expert and the expert of the insurance company . To give  more context, I had ulcerative proctitis, only the first 4cm of the rectum, in my history of IBD. UC is a progressive disease, and a person with 10 years of pancolitis is harder to treat than a first timer. My IBD was well under control with mesalamine enemas, and suppositories before this flare, and I sometimes think this might have confused the Dr, that I was an ulcerative proctitis patient. Nevertheless, It turned into pancolitis in a month, and as one hospital Dr put it, "your dr did not treat you, he only monitored you" in that month.

There are many patients who have pancolitis and never get a j-pouch. If he treated me, maybe it would never even become pancolitis.

 

Since you are a laywer and a poucher, I would like to hear you valuable opinion, if you don't mind, on how the damages are quantified. How can the difficulties of living with a j-pouch be quantified?

There are studies that simply say life with a j-pouch has "excellent" quality-of-life. They define "quality-of-life" as a single general metric. They are usually older studies, and more recent ones mention only "good" quality-of-life.

But there are very recent studies that are more specific about life with a j-pouch beyond just frequency and incontinence. I had to research them for this "case" (claim?), and saw that, contrary to the popular belief on this site, what people complain on this site is actually not only ~10 percent of pouchers experience.  Look at these recent studies in reverse chronological order:

-------

PMID: 31914113, Publication year: 2020

 

"Furthermore, 90.4% of patients with J-pouch state that they are sometimes, rarely, or never able to wait 15 minutes to get to the toilet. In addition, 56.4% of patients report having another bowel movement within 15 minutes of the last bowel movement, sometimes, always, or most of the time, and 50.6% of patients say that they sometimes, rarely, or never feel like their bowels have been totally emptied after a bowel movement."

PMID: 32744536, Year 2020

" Among 468 patients with an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA), 94 (20%) had acute pouchitis, 96 (21%) had chronic pouchitis, and 192 (41%) had Crohn disease of the pouch. Following an IPAA, 38% of patients were treated with a biologic and 11% underwent inflammatory bowel disease- or bowel-related surgery.

 

PMID: 28426474, Year 2017

"Among 243 patients reporting a history of IPAA, 199 (82%) reported a history of pouch symptoms. "

PMID: 26543708 Year 2015

"81 % experienced problems in at least one of the following areas: depression, work productivity, restrictions in diet, body image, and sexual function. "

------------

 

It seems like only ~20 percent is having excellent pouch function, and 60 percent has either chronic poucitis or Chron's of the pouch. UC comes back with time. More data is being collected as pouchers are getting older, and it seems that pouch related disorders are also progressive, like UC. As a result, more recent studies do not claim "excellent" quality-of-life. 

 

Second, because of the surgeries, I rejected a new position at my current company, which would be an advancement in my career. I actually posted here about it. It was very short time before my takedown, and the new position required me to be at office 9-5, because it would involve leading a team. I am not leading a team right now. I rejected the job, which I would otherwise happily accept. I had been working with this team on my own time for a year for this opportunity.

My current job position -before pandemic- was/is work from home and flextime, it is a highly technical IT job and does not require a lot of face to face human interaction. I rejected the lead position because I need the flexibility with the pouch in the first one year after surgery, and probably later.

It is impossible that the pouch will not effect my career. When I asked my GI, what advice he has for me to be able to keep the pouch, he said "no stress". How can my career be the same if I cannot handle stress? How can I have an ambitious career without stress? I have three masters degrees and a PhD, I worked very hard, and was planning to do so. I now  have to focus on work-life balance instead. How can these damages be quantified?

Finally, there is the issue of IBD being a taboo. I cannot share with my colleagues  that I have 7 BMs a day with ease in a professional environment. I am a female, and that also matters in this context. I asked my managers to keep it confidential, as I did not want my very personal bathroom habits to be the gossip of the entire site. I am not sure whether my manager could keep it secret, as he is known to be a walking-newspaper when it comes to exciting news. He had told everyone in our team that one of my team members was hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder. That bad. If this news is already out, I think it would further effect my career. I think j-pouch function being a taboo is also a part of the damages. What is your opinion on this?

Last edited by Elif

I would suggest you discuss all of that with your attorney. Damages are both economic and non economic and for a jury to decide but must be proven to flow from the breach of the standard of care. My own personal opinion in living with a J Pouch for 28 years is that it saved my life. I have had a problematic pouch, chronic pouchitis, multiple pouch revision surgeries, huge costs of maintenance, but I have worked 28 years as a trial attorney, have had a good career and never missed time from work, don't regret it and don't see myself as damaged or a victim but as extremely lucky. I am lucky to have had good doctors and lucky to have had effective treatment for a difficult disease to treat. I don't see that as any damage but rather a reward, because my colon couldn't be saved. It's not clear to me that your colon would have been saved with proper treatment, and that is the tricky part in your case. You are correct- it comes down to a battle of experts in many cases, but I think your expert needs to establish that adherence to the standard of care would have saved your colon and to me that is highly speculative. Speculative testimony by experts is something that can be disallowed by the Court. I am not saying it will be, but this is what the defense will argue.  Even if the testimony is allowed, a jury is free to reject it as well when the other side presents evidence that it's speculative. This is how I would see it as a juror, but I am not going to be a juror in your case. I wish you the best with it. Perhaps you will win, but I think it will be an uphill battle.

Last edited by CTBarrister

@CTBarrister Thanks for your input. I guess this will take a long time to resolve. I will use this tread to let everyone know what happened at the end.

Yes, I do see myself as a victim. I feel this way, because multiple Drs who cared for me afterwards, some of them repeatedly, told me I was not treated properly. And now, the expert says the same. It is not possible for me not to feel like a victim.

Last edited by Elif

Add Reply

Post
Copyright © 2019 The J-Pouch Group. All rights reserved.
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×