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Patients unable to eat again because of surgical errors

Imagine never being able to take a bite of food again. No Thanksgiving, no Christmas and no chocolates at Valentine's Day. It may sound like a type of nightmare, but it is very much a reality for those suffering from a specialized condition that can be caused by a simple surgeon mistake. The condition, which affects a small number of Ohio residents, is known as Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction, or CIPO for short. People with the disease suffer because their intestines act as though they are blocked, though no obstruction exists.

Surgical errors are not the only cause of the condition, which affects fewer than 200,000 people nationwide. Infections contracted during a hospital stay can also be to blame. Still other people suffer from the condition for no discernable reason.

One Ohio man who is suffering from the disease has had to give up eating his favorite foods - including ribs and ice cream - in favor of intravenous fluids. He is forced to take his nutrition from total parenteral nutrition, another word for IV bags that are full of protein, vitamins and minerals that keep him alive. When his friends and family members go to eat out, he has to sit and watch the party instead of joining in. Another man finds himself hooked up to intravenous fluids for more than 10 hours a day, thanks to radiation that cured his colon cancer but caused CIPO.

No one deserves to live a life that requires constant intravenous nutrition instead of enjoying the benefits of eating. Ohio physicians who cause such serious intestinal disorders should be held accountable for their surgeon mistakes, which can severely limit a patient's quality of life. Patients have a right to seek financial compensation from those physicians who negligently cause organ damage that so drastically alters their lives. Such patients, who have to resort to IV fluids to eat, may be able to recover financial damages from negligent physicians, including compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering and a variety of other claims.

Source:, "Some people won't eat a bit of food this Thanksgiving - or ever again" Diane Suchetka, Nov. 27, 2013

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