My wife suffers from frequent esophagus spasms. About three times a week she has an attack while trying to swallow food. She normally can get the food back up and avoid a blockage. Six years ago a piece of meat became lodged in her esophagus. I took her to the emergency room and the on call GI doc came in and removed the meat. Two nights ago a piece of meat became stuck in her esophagus again. I took her to the emergency room. The on call GI doc elected not to respond, admitted her to the hospital and performed a dilation procedure at six the next morning.
I was angry and frustrated because my wife was in distress and had to spend the evening spitting up saliva she couldn't swallow because of the blockage. In addition, the GI doc tore her esophagus during the procedure. He told me this was done on purpose to try and dilate the esophagus.
My questions are: 1. Is it considered appropriate for an on call GI doc to not respond to this kind of situation and let it wait until the next day? 2. Is it conceivable that an "intentional" tear of the esophagus is considered appropriate?
All of my research indicated the on call doctor should have responded when called and that any tear of the esophagus should be avoided.
Shelspop, an esophageal blockage is not considered life-threatening. It's very uncomfortable, so it would be considered okay not to call the GI doc until the next day.
I can't comment on the 'tear' because I've never heard of anyone putting an intentional tear in the esophagus. It's something I would consider a 'shoddy' piece of work, but that's a person opinion.
The other thing is, you don't know that the GI doc on call elected not to respond, unless you heard it directly from him. If that was relayed by someone else, it may or may not be true. The GI doc can easily say he was on another case, etc., and perhaps he was.
Dilation is risky, in general and it carries with it the risk of perforation as the papers your wife signed before the procedure started, probably said. If those papers were signed, you may have a tough time pressing the issue. I'm not trying to dissuade you from that, if that's what you decide to do. I'm just pointing out what I have found in dealing with the medical profession.
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