Acute cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder. It typically occurs when a gallstone obstructs the cystic duct. Gallstones are tiny stones that develop in the gallbladder and are primarily formed of cholesterol. The gallbladder’s main entrance is the cystic duct.
With about 20 million Americans affected, gallbladder disease is a common condition. In the US, approximately 200,000 persons are diagnosed with acute cholecystitis annually.
Although gallbladder disease rarely produces symptoms, it can result in painful episodes (biliary colic) or acute cholecystitis. The possibility of complications makes acute cholecystitis incredibly dangerous.
What Are The Complications Of Acute Cholecystitis?
When left untreated, acute cholecystitis can lead to numerous catastrophic conditions that may lead to the death of a person. Medical animation can portray these complications should the case appear in court.
Here are some of the complications a person can face:
- Empyema (pus in the gallbladder)
Empyema is the medical name for pus pockets that have formed inside a bodily cavity. They can develop if a bacterial infection is not treated or the patient’s response to treatment is poor.
Empyema is a dangerous condition that calls for medical attention. It can cause fever, chest aches, shortness of breath, and coughing up mucous.
Gangrene is the death of body tissue brought on by a major bacterial infection or a lack of blood supply.
The toes and fingers, as well as the arms and legs, are frequently impacted by gangrene. It can also happen in the muscles and internal organs like the gallbladder.
Gangrene often occurs in the gallbladder if it has been damaged during surgery.
A rip (perforation) in the gallbladder can result from gallbladder enlargement, infection, or tissue death.
In the case of Sweatt v. Wong, the plaintiff sustained a life-threatening perforation in her gall bladder due to a prior laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery that was improperly conducted to remove some gall stones after she had been diagnosed with multiple gall stones and possible acute cholecystitis.
The perforation caused her condition to deteriorate rapidly.
She had to undergo another surgery, thanks to the insight of another doctor in charge of her treatment.
- Peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen)
Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, a thin layer of tissue covering the inside of the abdomen and most of its organs.
In most cases, the inflammation is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection.
The infection can be induced by an abdominal injury, an underlying medical condition, or a treatment device such as a dialysis catheter or feeding tube.
Peritonitis is a dangerous complication that necessitates prompt medical intervention. If the infection is not treated promptly, it can spread and become fatal.
Can I Sue For Acute Cholecystitis?
Acute cholecystitis is a potentially dangerous illness caused by different factors. Lack of adequate treatment can also lead to life-threatening complications.
Thus, a person can sue for acute cholecystitis if the illness is a proximate result of someone’s action. It can also be a cause of action in a court of law if the doctor in charge fails to diagnose the condition or delays the diagnosis wrongfully properly.
Whatever may the cause of action, medical animation may be used as evidence to properly capture the facts singularly and receive overwhelming compensation for the condition.
Here are the instances where one can sue for acute cholecystitis:
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of acute cholecystitis
Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis is often the cause of a medical malpractice case in court. This is because a single diagnosis can decide the quality of life a person will have to live with for the rest of their life.
Therefore, if proven in court, a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of acute cholecystitis can be a cause of action.
If acute cholecystitis is misdiagnosed or the diagnosis wrongfully delayed, the patient is at risk of developing a complication or even death.
- Damage to gallbladder during surgery
Medical surgeries are meant to be safe procedures handled by professionals who know what to do in case of any issues arising during the surgery.
However, mistakes sometimes happen that lead to serious complications such as acute cholecystitis.
Suppose there has been damage to the gallbladder during surgery. In that case, it is possible to prove in court using medical animation and the services of an expert witness who can examine the patient and confirm the cause of the condition.
- Serious Injuries
Serious injuries that tamper with the gallbladder can also cause acute cholecystitis. It can be in various ways, such as in a car accident, assault or battery, shooting, falls caused by negligence, or during employment.
Whatever the case may be, medical animation can be used to prove the condition’s cause in court.
Severe burns that reach the internal organ can also cause acute cholecystitis.
Burns can be derived from an explosion, fire incident, gas leak, chemical leak, or arson. The person that caused the fire that led to the burns will be held liable in these instances.
Acute cholecystitis, being a dangerous condition, must not be taken with levity. If the case requires medical animation to be adequately evidenced, then all hands must be on deck to create one that would be legally admissible. The onus is on the attorney on the case to employ the services of a legal animation company experienced in creating admissible graphics.