Medical mistakes are a leading cause of disability and death in the United States. They can cause several different types of complications, but in some of the most serious of cases, these avoidable errors lead to the loss of a limb. Medical malpractice is the legal cause of action that the injured individual can take after a healthcare provider’s negligence and deviance from the accepted standard of care results in harm, such as an amputation.
Stories of negligent amputations run rampant, ranging from a man who had to have part of his leg removed after receiving the wrong post-operative advice, a young boy who lost his leg after a botched tonsillectomy, and an adult male who lost his toes after his sepsis was mismanaged. According to numbers from the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA), approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States every year. While it is unclear exactly how many amputations are the direct result of medical negligence or malpractice, what we do know is that far too many patients have lost a limb or limbs because of a healthcare professional’s unacceptable mistake.
Sometimes an amputation is necessary to treat a patient or to save his or her life. But even in times when an amputation is essential, the road to recovery can be a long, tiring, and physically traumatic one. What can make recovery even more difficult is when an amputation should never have occurred in the first place, making rehabilitation even more upsetting and complicated for a patient who just wants life to return to normal. Whether a patient loses the tip of his or her finger or their entire leg, the loss of a limb or limbs can have devastating consequences on a someone’s overall quality of life as well as their future medical needs and costs.
Medical malpractice can lead to wrongful amputations for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few examples of how a healthcare provider’s mistake can lead to trauma and injury to a patient:
Amputations are not only traumatic; they can also be deadly. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), having a lower limb amputation is associated with a fairly high risk of not surviving for the first year after a surgical procedure. Post-operative mortality rates for lower limb amputee’s ranges from 9% to 16%. People who have a limb amputated are also prone to other problematic medical complications, like slow wound healing and infection, “phantom limb” pain, pneumonia, heart attack, and stump oedema.
If you were a victim of medical negligence and you would like to learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim, someone at our firm can help. Victims of a wrongful amputation have the right to file a medical malpractice claim. To learn more, contact a representative online now.
Galfand Berger LLP has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.