Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, is a medical process for diagnosing and treating problems with the pancreas, liver, or gallbladder. However, patients treated by ERCP may suffer serious complications if the procedure is negligently performed. These complications include pancreatitis, infections, and internal bleeding.
Proving ERCP Malpractice
In order to be ERCP malpractice, four conditions must be proved:
- A patient/doctor relationship existed: The accused doctor must have been in a patient/doctor relationship with the patient.
- Breach of duty of care by the medical professional: Doctors owe a high duty of care to their patients, a level of treatment equal to similarly trained professionals in their field. If the doctor does not meet this standard, a breach of the duty of care occurs. This breach of a duty can either be an act or failure to act.
- Causation of injury to the patient: This breach of the duty of care must lead to the patient’s injury. For example, if the doctor improperly performs the ERCP and the patient is injured due to this negligence, this is causation.
- Damages to the patient: Damages must be shown to have occurred, including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more.
ERCP Malpractice Examples
If improperly performed, ERCP treatments may lead to injury. Some examples of malpractice in the ERCP context include:
- Improper Treatment: Other safer procedures may be available, including less invasive alternatives. ERCP is an invasive procedure, which usually should be used for treatment and not diagnosis. If ERCP is used improperly, your doctor may be liable for your injuries.
- Lack of Informed Consent: If you were not made aware of the risks of the procedure before agreeing to it, your doctor may be liable for your injuries.
- Negligence: Perforation or damaging of the intestines during procedure. If this occurs, your doctor may be liable for your injuries.
- Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: Delayed diagnosis of a perforation. If your doctor misdiagnoses, or is slow to diagnosis a perforation, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Negligent Post-Operative Care: If post-operative care failed to improve your injury, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.