Unfortunately, nearly 2 million people in the United States live with limb loss. Based on estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics, there are around 50,000 new amputee cases in the United States each year. The medical removal of a limb is necessary when the limb is jeopardizing the patient’s overall health. For example, limbs that are heavily infected, in a stage of irreversible necrosis, or frostbitten will need to be removed to ensure they do not cause any further harm. While amputations are sometimes necessary to save the patient’s life, recovering from the loss of a limb is unimaginably traumatic, painful, and emotional.
Amputations Resulting from Medical Negligence
The loss of a limb is even more devastating when it could have been prevented. Tragically, amputations can be the result of medical negligence or malpractice. Many patients have suffered from wrongful or avoidable amputations at the hands of a medical professional. Some of the ways that medical malpractice can lead to amputations include:
- Wrong-site surgery: While it is difficult to believe that medical professionals can make this mistake with today’s technology, amputating the wrong limb still happens every year. This mistake is particularly devastating because patients are then forced to lose two of their limbs—the one the medical professional was supposed to amputate, and the one that they took accidentally.
- Failure to treat blood clots and internal bleeding: Blood clots and internal bleeding can occur due to certain medical conditions or after surgery. Leaving blood clots or internal bleeding undiagnosed or untreated causes poor circulation to limbs, increasing the risk of amputations.
- Failure to treat trauma: Physical injuries can cause internal swelling in a patient’s limb. If left untreated, this xcan necessitate an amputation. Traumatic injuries, such as those that result from serious car accidents, should be monitored closely to ensure swelling does not occur.
- Infection: Infections can occur after surgery or as a result of an improperly treated wound. If left untreated too long, amputations of the infected limb may be necessary to stop the infection from spreading.
- Failure to diagnose: If a medical professional fails to diagnose a condition completely, takes too long to diagnose, or misdiagnoses, they can be found negligent and liable for an amputation. This could include failing to identify complications with diabetes or misdiagnosing a blood vessel disorder, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
- Medication errors: Many of the medications used to save patients’ lives can also result in amputations if prescribed improperly or not monitored carefully. One of the most common examples are medications used to artificially inflate a patient’s blood pressure.
Amputations are extremely taxing to recover from as they are permanent, traumatic, and dramatically alter a patient’s quality of life and livelihood. The recovery process is even worse for amputation patients who are victims of medical malpractice.
How We Can Help
If you or a loved one is coping with these devastating consequences of an amputation as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, the person responsible needs to be held liable for their actions. At The Brothers Law Firm, we understand your pain and frustration during this time of need. We have represented numerous clients who have suffered serious injury after amputations. We can help you understand your legal rights and determine the best options possible to ensure you and your family get the help you need. If you or someone you love has suffered from an amputation as a result of medical negligence, or for any other reason, contact us today. To get started, fill out our online form to request a free consultation or call us at 281-491-3635.