Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and ailments of the gastrointestinal and digestive systems.
The esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are among the major organs that compose the gastrointestinal(GI) tract, which runs from the mouth to the anus.
According to a publication by the American College of Gastroenterology, a gastroenterologist is expected to have “a detailed understanding of the normal action (physiology) of the gastrointestinal organs including the movement of material through the stomach and intestine (motility), the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ.”
With this level of expected expertise and how important it is to have a deep understanding of their profession, medical errors happen, which can be a result of negligence or just an unavoidable circumstance.
However, negligence and mistakes happening in handling these delicate organs of the human system aren’t limited to the field of gastroenterology. It cuts across various areas of specialization in medicine.
According to a study published on PubMed.gov by Anderson & Abrahamson(2017), more than 250,000 individuals die each year due to medical errors, making it the third major cause of death in the United States behind cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Furthermore, according to a 2017 study published by the University of Chicago’s NORC, one out of every five Americans has personally experienced a medical error while receiving health care, and two out of every five Americans have either personally experienced a medical error or had a medical error occur in the care of someone close to them.
Hence, when patients or relatives (in the case of death) feel they have been victims of these medical errors, they can bring liability claims against the medical practitioner.
Gastrointestinal Medical Malpractice Cases In The United States
Gastrointestinal medmal cases can be a result of a misdiagnosis by a gastroenterologist. It can also include errors of failure to diagnose, mistakes in treatment, and injury during GI surgery.
Whichever the case, a victim can sue gastroenterologists if such an error leads to harm or injury. However, a CGH Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association reported misdiagnosis as the leading cause of GI medical malpractice claims.
Some of these cases include the cases of Radzik v. Children’s Medical Center, Borawski v. Huang, Postlethwaite v. United Health Services Hospitals, Inc.
Saving The Time In a GI Medmal Case With Legal Animation
In a GI medmal case, legal animation can serve as a handy tool to help the parties involved reach a verdict and save the time and costs associated with prolonged litigation.
An example of how legal animation can be helpful in such circumstances is in the case of Radzik v. Children’s Medical Center, where a wrongful death action was brought against a gastroenterologist for medication error.
The victim, who was suffering from Crohn’s disease, which is a type of disease that affects the GI tracts, was administered drugs that had risks associated with it. Using the drugs continuously worsened the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and led to death.
Legal animation can illustrate the digestive tracts and show the inflammation present in the bowel as a result of the disease. It can also further demonstrate how the drugs are broken down and how their chemical components contributed to worsening the case.
In addition, where it’s a case of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding leading to death or injury, legal animation serves as that tool an attorney can use to aid an expert’s witness’ explanation of the bleeding that goes on in the esophagus, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, anus and every other organ that makes up the GI tract.
Mistakes committed by a gastroenterologist during gastrointestinal surgery can also be illustrated with the aid of legal animation. Right and wrong procedures can be illustrated from the op reports.
In conclusion, with such internal organ activities made bare before the jury, their understanding of the degree of damage and injury caused to the victim will be without ambiguity. This will help them in their decision-making process and in awarding the victim a befitting compensation.