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An organ perforation is characterized by complete penetration of an organ’s wall. During an operation, it is possible for the patient to suffer an organ perforation due to error, negligence, equipment malfunction, or other complications. Organ perforation may also occur due to pathological conditions and diseases or accidents that apply blunt trauma to the body. Immediate diagnosis and treatment of an organ perforation or puncture is imperative.

Causes of Organ Perforation

Injuries and health conditions that can lead to organ perforation may involve:

  • Knife wounds
  • Gun shots
  • Car accidents
  • Typhoid fever
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Colon cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diverticulitis
  • Appendicitis
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Ectopic pregnancy

Organ Perforation due to Malpractice

It is a medical facility’s duty to diagnose and properly treat organ perforations that are caused by all health conditions. If immediate treatment is not provided to a patient, severe and potentially fatal complications can occur. In many cases, appropriate and timely medical attention can prevent organ perforation from occurring.

It is also possible for an organ perforation to be a direct result of a medical professional’s negligence or carelessness. During surgical procedures, minor miscalculations or sudden accidental movements can cause an organ perforation. Additionally, surgeons and other healthcare practitioners rely heavily on advanced technology and equipment. Medical equipment failure or malfunction may contribute to an organ perforation.

High-Risk Procedures

Liposuction

During a liposuction procedure, the cosmetic surgeon is unable to see exact location of the cannula, or liposuction tube. As a result, it is possible for the surgeon to perforate nearby organs if extreme caution is not exercised. Organ perforation during lipoplasty often exhibits delayed or mild symptoms, especially when the patient is under anesthesia.

Transvaginal Mesh

Transvaginal mesh procedures are available to women suffering from weak pelvic muscles that lead to incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse (POP). During pelvic organ prolapse, the lower organs fall out of place and into the vaginal cavity. In several cases, the mesh implants have perforated the vagina or other organs, causing significant health complications.

Symptoms of Organ Perforation

Symptoms of an organ perforationmay include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Infection
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding or hemorrhaging
  • Severe and sudden pain
  • Bruising, which can indicate internal bleeding

Complications and Infection

Organ perforation is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. Failure to diagnose and treat organ perforation can cause severe internal damage or death. Infection is a common result of organ perforation, especially from a gastrointestinal perforation that can release waste into the body.

If a punctured or perforated organ is not repaired and the leaked substances are not quickly removed, the substances can enter the bloodstream. This may lead to sepsis. During sepsis, the body becomes inflamed and enters a state of shock due to dropped blood pressure and poor blood flow. Sepsis can result in the loss of arms, legs, and other limbs to prevent the spread of infection. If adequate medical attention is not received immediately, sepsis is fatal.

 

Sources:

“FDA warns of complications from vaginal mesh implants.” Women’s Health Advisor 15.9 (2011): 2. Academic OneFile.Web. 2 Dec. 2012.
“Recent findings from P. Hizette and co-authors highlight research in sepsis.” Biotech Week 17 Feb. 2010: 1620. Academic OneFile.Web. 2 Dec. 2012.
Wang, Yu-Chun, et al. “Hollow Organ Perforation in Blunt Abdominal Trauma: The Role of Diagnostic Peritoneal Lavage.”The American Journal of Emergency Medicine 30.4 (2012): 570-3. ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source. Web. 2 Dec. 2012.