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SEEKING HELP FOR AN AMPUTATION INJURY CAUSED BY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Normally, an amputation is needed when injury or disease concerns make saving the limb impossible. This type of surgery is used as a last resort, as the loss of a limb can leave a person in chronic pain and change their life forever. While prosthetics have come a long way in the last few decades, they still cannot replicate the dexterity and fine motor control that an arm or leg provides. And such prosthetics are expensive, as is the ongoing physical therapy needed to help someone adjust to life without one of their extremities. With so many risks involved in the procedure, the hope is that doctors only perform the procedure when it is absolutely necessary and pay close attention to the patients they work with. Unfortunately, and tragically for the patients involved, this is often not the case.
WHAT COULD CAUSE A HOSPITAL TO PERFORM AN INCORRECT AMPUTATION?
When treating an injury or a patient stricken with a grave disease, hospitals and their medical practitioners are expected to keep accurate records and verify their diagnoses before proceeding with an avenue of treatment. When a patient is put under for a procedure, it is essential that hospital personnel remain organized so that everyone receives the proper treatment. If nurse practitioners and doctors mix up their patient files prior to a procedure, the wrong patient may wake up without all of their limbs.
Occasionally, a surgeon commits a major error during a procedure, resulting in serious complications. In some instances, the surgeon may have removed a limb as a consequence of these complications, turning what might have been a simple procedure into a medical disaster. For example, a surgeon may cut a vein or artery during treatment, resulting in severe blood loss. A nurse may insert an IV incorrectly and halt circulation. Poor surgical procedures may cause a deep blood clot to form and compromise tissues in the limb. There are a lot of things a surgical team has to be mindful of when working on a patient. When these medical professionals fail to observe important organizational methods, the result can be tragic for the patient.
WHAT SHOULD A PATIENT DO IF THEY RECEIVE AN UNNEEDED AMPUTATION?
Some injury lawyers have experience working with clients who have been wronged in this way and can provide valuable counsel. Medical malpractice is at the root of the incident in almost all of these cases, even if attending surgeons and nurses claim their actions were justified. In fact, hospitals will often contact patients immediately after such an incident and get them to make a statement and undermine their ability to file a claim. It is extremely important that a victim not make such a statement, and acquire any medical records associated with the incident. This should be done even if a surgeon or nurse claims limb removal was a “medical necessity” during surgery. In most cases, this is just an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for a grave mistake, a mistake that the victim will have to live with for the rest of their life.