Most people that have the diverticular disease have no symptoms and are completely unaware of their condition.
Diverticular disease occurs in 60% of people over 60 years old and is uncommon in people below 40 years old.
What are the symptoms of diverticular disease?
A small number of patients have intermittent usually easy controlled symptoms.
When a single diverticulum becomes inflamed it causes severe pain and this is when it amounts to diverticulitis.
Treatment of diverticulitis:
The initial treatment for episodes of diverticulitis in the majority of patients is conservative and does not involve major surgery. Patients are usually advised to stop eating and rest the bowel and are usually given antibiotics.
Complications of diverticulitis:
A small number of patients do go on to develop serious complications from diverticulitis, most usually because the diverticulum perforates which allows faeces or bowel contents to leak out into the peritoneal cavity.
In many patients, this can be treated by CT guided drainage through the skin and abdominal wall. However, if the abscess does not resolve then the patient requires urgent surgery which does carry with it a high rate of postoperative complications and occasionally causes the death of the patient. The postoperative complications including having a permanent colostomy bag.
Diverticulitis and Medical Negligence:
With diverticular disease patients usually have intermittent, usually easily controlled symptoms. Patients are usually advised to take painkillers with respect to their stomach pain and to increase fibre in their diet.
If however, there is a delay in making a diagnosis of diverticular disease, complication can arise whereby the inflamed diverticular perforates and allows faeces or bowel contents to leak out into the peritoneal cavity which requires serious surgery and can become life-threatening.
A typical diverticulitis negligence claim will involve the following steps:
- We will investigate every minute detail of your case and from there we will build your case by obtaining all of your medical records, taking full witness account from you and we will consultant the best experts in their field to give an opinion on whether negligence arose in your care or treatment.
- We will contact the relevant hospital or doctor advising them that we believe there was negligence in your care and treatment and asking them to admit liability.
- We will serve proceedings on the relevant medical institution or doctor and ensure that they reply to your claim in a timely manner with full details of any defence that they wish to make.
- We will represent your claim in the courts robustly to secure the appropriate level of compensation for your injuries.
Our experienced team will assist you in reviewing your medical records to identify if an error occurred. We will instruct experts who are the best in their field to provide an opinion on whether the treatment you received was negligent or not and we will progress your claim through the courts with skill, experience and knowledge and robustly represent your case so we can secure the best compensation for you or your loved one.
Our experience in diverticulitis medical negligence:
Our experienced team at McElhinney & Associates Solicitors have worked on various types of diverticulitis claims over the years ranging from the simple to the most complex. We have developed an expertise in the area and so we know how to prepare and progress your claim to achieve the optimum level of compensation.
What level of compensation will I receive for a diverticulitis medical negligence:
The level of compensation payable to you is directly related to the level of injury and trauma that you suffered together with the impact that the negligent treatment has had on your quality of life. Compensation is usually broken down into two parts:
- General damages. This is compensation for the pain and suffering that you have endured to date together with the likely pain and suffering that you will endure into the future.
- Special damages. These are items of expenditure and financial loss that you have incurred up to the date of the court award and possible likely future financial losses, for example the cost of any private treatment, medication, aids and appliances, loss of earnings to date, loss of earnings into the future, the cost of any ongoing care and treatment required.
How long do you have to make a claim:
Any person who wishes to pursue a claim for medical negligence through the courts must do so within 2 years of the mistake being made or 2 year that they had knowledge that a mistake was made.
If your loved one has passed then the matter proceeds as a fatal injury claim.
Once proceedings are issued the case can take approximately, 2-3 years to come before the courts for hearing, depending on the complexity of the case, the number of experts that are required together with the defence delivered by the healthcare provider to your claim.
Early legal assistance can be vital as the time limits for bringing an action are very strict therefore, if you believe that you have suffered as a result of substandard diverticulitis care then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the hospital in question and we are happy to have an initial consultation with you where we will give you an initial assessment and advise you of your options.
How can we help:
Diverticulitis is a common condition which can effect a large percentage of the population. If it is not managed in a timely fashion by your medical professionals, and you have suffered complications as a result of this delay and diagnosis in treatment, it may amount to medical negligence and you should seek legal advice immediately.