The digestive system is structured in a way that it has its plumbing system. This plumbing system is responsible for processing waste products out of the body, among other functions. Just like any plumbing system, clogs in the network of pipes (digestive system) can disrupt the free flow of pipe travelers (nutrients and waste), thereby causing an eruption(disorder/inflammation) that can mess up the whole house (stomach). One of such clogs that can cause inflammation to the digestive system is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to refer to a group of infections that causes the intestines to become inflamed. This group of infections can result in a series of symptoms, including weight loss, bleeding ulcers, diarrhea, etc. Patients diagnosed with this disease risk living with it for a lifetime. If it’s not well managed, they are at higher risk of developing diseases and cancer of the different organs in the digestive system.
The root cause of IBD hasn’t been expressly identified. It remains unclear; however, research has opined that it may be due to the body’s autoimmune response or immune system dysregulation. It has been suggested that the immune system overreacting and attacking an otherwise harmless bacteria or virus can cause this inflammation.
In addition, various court cases have surfaced claiming that the use of some drugs also contributes to a patient developing IBD.
An example of such a case is Kendall v. Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. In this case, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants were liable for her developing IBD because they failed to adequately warn her of the risk of inflammatory bowel disease associated with using a drug called Accutane. The jury, through special interrogatories, found out that some people who take the drugs are at risk of developing IBD and awarded her $10.5 million in compensatory damages and $78,500 in past medical expenses.
Another case with similar claims and circumstances is Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. v. Mason. In this case, the prescribing physician testified that there is at least a possibility of a causal relationship between Accutane and IBD.
Types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, approximately 1.6 million Americans currently have IBD, with as many as 70,000 new cases of IBD being diagnosed yearly in the United States. Of this group of infections that make up the IBD, there are two major types: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Ulcerative colitis is a type of IBD that attacks the colon and rectum of the immune system. On the other hand, Crohn’s disease is a type of IBD that can attack all the layers of the digestive tract, from the mouth down to the anus.
Normally, people are diagnosed with either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. However, in extremely rare cases, a person can be diagnosed with both. One such rare case can be seen in the Richardson v. Johnson & Higgins trial, where the plaintiff was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and later Crohn’s disease.
Illustrating the causes of IBD
There is no doubt that the cause of IBD isn’t clear; however, with research and court cases pointing to drugs and the immune system’s deregulation, an expert’s opinion on either of the two identified causes of IDB can be illustrated.
With litigation animation, an attorney handling a case of IDB can illustrate how the immune system would typically react when it spots an infectious agent by fighting it before it goes back to rest. With IDB being the opposite, animation can also illustrate this, showing where the immune system reacts without spotting any infectious agent.
In addition, animation can illustrate what happens in the digestive tract when there is either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The symptoms caused by either of these infections can be perfectly illustrated to explain the severity of the condition to the jury. A case of a drug’s mechanism of action resulting in IBD can also be illustrated with animation.
In conclusion, litigation animation is an ideal visual legal strategy to present to the jury when the attorney handling a case of IBD gets an expert opinion explaining the cause of the inflammation or the organ damaged by the inflammation. Furthermore, litigation animation used to present all these opinions is a time-saving yet bluntly effective method as it wraps up the explanation into a visually appealing one. With the animation created by a litigation animation company with expertise in crafting admissible graphics, the cause of inflammation can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.