Narcotics are a class of drugs that includes medications like oxycodone and morphine which are used to relieve pain. Narcotics are prescribed on a regular basis in the United States for patients who are in pain due to injuries, cancer, or sudden painful conditions. However, those with gastrointestinal disorders can experience problems when being treated by these drugs. In fact, it can cause pain and even lead to horrible conditions like bowel perforation.
What to Know About Bowel Obstruction
When the small or large intestine becomes partially or entirely blocked, it constitutes bowel obstruction. This can occur due to scar tissue from abdominal surgery in the past, because of tumors, due to hernias, or because of narrowing or twisting of the intestines. It can also be the result of taking narcotics, which can cause nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, and abdominal distension. This condition is serious and may fall under medical malpractice if the physician does not explain the risk to you.
Identifying Potential Obstruction
There are a few symptoms that are common in those with a bowel obstruction caused by narcotics. These include:
- Recurring or chronic abdominal pain
- Problems passing gas
Those who are suffering from a bowel perforation may notice the symptoms below:
- Extreme abdominal pain that may be worse while moving
- High fever
- Intense vomiting
Most malpractice claims linked to bowl perforation relate to a doctor who does not ask for imaging studies to check for an obstruction, or when the images are ordered but not interpreted properly. Patients sent home with a bowel obstruction or perforation may experience horrible symptoms and require emergency medical care, especially in the case of a complete bowel obstruction.
Choosing Narcotics as Pain Relief
Narcotics have a place in medical care, but knowing your risks is important. If you are undergoing a medical procedure and these drugs are recommended, ask questions before agreeing to the treatment. Those who have experienced bowel perforation following prescription of narcotics might be entitled to compensation if your physician did not explain all the risks.
If you are in this kind of situation, a medical malpractice lawyer can offer you the assistance you need. Barovick Law has many years of experience in this area and can help you decide the best course of action to take. Speak to us for a consultation and take your life back in your hands with the help of experts.