Extending Your Student Visa

A student visa that lets you study at the university of your choice is a terrific thing for you. But what happens if your studies take longer than you planned? On top of exams and term papers, you may have to worry about your student visa expiring. That’s where an immigration lawyer can be your best friend. Understanding how immigration laws work can be the first step to making sure that you keep your student visa in good standing. My blog is all about immigration issues, especially those faced by foreign students. Check out the articles for more information that you can use to complete your studies in the country you chose to study in.

Colonoscopy Injuries: Can You File A Lawsuit If Something Goes Wrong?


Compared to other forms of the disease, colon cancer is relatively common in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, 2014 saw around 136,000 new cases of colon and rectum cancer, with an estimate of 50,000 deaths. To help cut deaths, doctors recommend different types of colon cancer screening, but these procedures can sometimes lead to serious injuries. Learn more about the risks of colonoscopy, and find out if you can file a lawsuit for any injuries you receive.

The importance of colonoscopy

In the United States, colorectal cancer screening is vital for anyone over the age of 50, but testing rates remain low. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, one in three adults in this age group have not received the recommended tests – or 20 million people.

Adults in this age group should have at least one of the following tests:

  • Fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test at home every year
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Colonoscopy every ten years

The aim of a colonoscopy is to find the early signs of cancer (precancerous polyps) that a specialist can then remove before the growths become more dangerous. Recent research shows that colonoscopy can prevent deaths. A study found that a regular colonoscopy cuts the death rate from colorectal cancer by 53 percent.

The risks of colonoscopy

Around 10 million people in the United States undergo a colonoscopy each year. In fact, colonoscopies cost more than $10 billion every year, and the procedure is one of the more expensive screening tests you can have. That aside, these costs do not arise because the test is complicated or risky. In fact, reports suggest that the escalating price is merely an attempt by healthcare providers to maximize revenue.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a colonoscopy generally poses few risks, and most patients undergo the procedure without complication. Rarely, colonoscopy patients can experience:

  • An adverse reaction to the sedative used
  • Internal bleeding from a tissue sample or removed polyp
  • A perforation of the colon or rectal wall

Before you undergo the procedure, a specialist will normally explain these risks to you. In fact, most healthcare providers will ask you to sign a disclaimer that says you accept these risks and any subsequent consequences. Does this mean you cannot file a lawsuit if something goes wrong?

How a colonoscopy could result in a lawsuit

When you sign a medical consent form and waiver, you agree that the doctor has told you about the risks of the procedure, and you also give consent for the test to go ahead. This consent assumes that the doctor or healthcare specialist carries out the work to the desired standard, in the right way. If something goes wrong, you can still file a lawsuit for your injuries if you can prove that the doctor was negligent.

To establish liability in a colonoscopy personal injury lawsuit your attorney must prove four key elements in the case.

  • Duty. The doctor (the defendant) must owe a legal duty to the plaintiff (you). In this case, he or she must carry out the work safely.
  • Breach. The defendant must, in some way, breach this duty. Any breach in protocol for a colonoscopy would probably count against the defendant.
  • Cessation. The defendant must cause your injury.
  • Damages. The plaintiff (you) must suffer actual damages or injuries.

Colonoscopy patients have successfully filed medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuits against healthcare providers.

In one case in Philadelphia in 2008, a jury awarded a 62-year-old man $2 million following a botched colonoscopy. The case found that the doctor over-inflated the colon during the procedure, resulting in a perforation. In the end, the doctors had to remove more than two feet of the man's colon.

Millions of Americans rely on a colonoscopy to carry out a vital screening for colorectal cancer. If you suffer a colonoscopy injury, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for advice or learn more here, even if you signed a medical waiver.


2 March 2015