Misdiagnosis of volvulus (twisted bowel) resulting in short bowel syndrome

Rachel Bowen and Tracy Edwards have each successfully secured full admissions of liability and causation in cases they have brought for delayed diagnosis of volvulus in babies, resulting in the children suffering with short bowel syndrome.

Volvulus is a condition where the bowel twists on itself causing bowel obstruction which can cut off the blood supply and cause bowel ischaemia and necrosis. It is extremely important that a volvulus is diagnosed and treated urgently. Emergency surgery is required, and prompt treatment generally results in a good outcome. However, if diagnosis is delayed necrosis of the bowel occurs and the prognosis can be poor, depending on how much of the bowel has died.

Short bowel syndrome can occur if a large part of the small bowel has to be removed due to necrosis, leaving the bowel shorter than the length necessary for adequate nutritional supply.

Short bowel syndrome is a leading cause of intestinal failure in children. It can cause compromised bowel absorptive capacity, resulting in diarrhoea, water and electrolyte imbalance, protein and energy malnutrition In addition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and poor bone mineralisation may occur amongst other complications. Often patients will require their nutrition to be provided by parenteral nutrition (feeding intravenously) which is commonly complicated by life threatening infections and thromboses. In some children, poor growth and development may occur.

If you would like assistance with a potential claim for misdiagnosis of volvulus please contact our medical negligence team for a free initial consultation.

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