Losing a limb is one of the most horrific injuries an individual can endure. The physical, emotional, mental, and financial costs of amputations are devastating and severe. Amputations require hospitalization, extensive treatment, and potentially expensive prosthetics that may need to be replaced as time goes on.
Amputations may be performed intentionally by medical professionals to treat infections and potentially fatal diseases such as cancer and diabetes, too. Complications are decreased in planned amputations compared to emergency amputations, but the permanent consequences remain the same.
Complications from planned amputations can include:
- Heart problems such as heart attacks
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Slow wound healing
- Wound infection
- Stump and “phantom limb” pain
Amputations can also be the result of medical malpractice when a doctor does not provide the appropriate treatment for a condition before amputation is necessary, a doctor amputates the wrong limb, or if there is insufficient medical evidence to support performing an amputation.
Beyond those scenarios, amputations may also occur accidentally. Traumatic amputation is the loss of a body part – finger, toe, hand, foot, arm, or leg – that occurs as a result of an accident or injury. Traumatic injury amputations account for about 45% of all amputations. If a complete amputation occurs (the body part is totally severed), the body part can sometimes be reattached. If a partial amputation occurs, some of the original soft tissue remains and medical professionals may or may not be able to reattach the limb. However, a body part may also be so severely damaged after being crushed or burned that it cannot be saved, and an amputation must occur.
A reattachment’s success depends on when the body part was amputated, the condition of the amputated body part, the length of time between when the amputation occurred and medical care is received, and the general health of the patient. If the limb cannot be reattached, patients have to undergo surgeries to clean the wound, shape whatever bone remains, and close the wound. This may require skin grafts and multiple surgeries.
Causes of traumatic amputations include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Farming accidents
- Fireworks and explosives
- Firearm accidents
- Electrocution accidents
- Defective tools
- Infections and injuries due to defective drugs
Defective tools that may potentially cause amputations include:
- Circular saw
- Band saw
- Table saw
- Nail gun
- Power saw
- Heat gun
- Paint stripper
Table saws are especially dangerous tools. A table saw with a collapsible table is convenient because it’s easier to move and store; however, that convenience is overshadowed by the potential danger caused by the table saw collapsing unexpectedly and causing an injury. Additionally, since using a table saw requires putting arms and hands close to a blade, there is the potential for a traumatic amputation– especially if the device is set up or operated improperly.
Infections and injuries related to defective drugs such as Tasigna and some diabetes drugs can also cause amputations. Tasigna is a medication commonly used to treat patients suffering from Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The medication is linked to atherosclerosis, which is a condition that restricts blood flow to the heart and other organs. The restricted blood flow can lead to amputations due to the limbs not receiving vital blood and oxygen.
In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicine Agency (EMA) changed the labeling and warning requirements for the canagliflozin medications Invokana and Invokamet after uncovering a link between the medications and lower limb (legs and ankles) amputations. The medications are used to manage high blood sugar in patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes. The medication works by lowering the body’s blood sugar levels by causing the kidneys to dispose of more glucose in urine.
What You Can Potentially Collect Damages For
If you suffered an amputation that was someone else’s false, you may be able to file a lawsuit to collect damages.
You may be able to collect compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
Prosthetic (artificial) limbs must be installed after the initial amputation wounds have been healed. Amputations and prosthetic installation can require multiple surgeries. The prosthesis is usually custom-made for the patient from an impression or cast. The prosthesis is then matched to an individual’s skin tone and given a skin-looking texture. However, the prosthesis may not last forever and the patient may incur medical costs for its maintenance and replacement.
Once a prosthetic limb is installed, the patient will need physical therapy to learn how to move properly with the new limb and likely psychiatric treatment to deal with the emotional trauma of the devastating injury. Medical costs associated with amputations are tremendous and can be long-term. You should get a legal team fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.
How GoldenbergLaw Can Help You
If you or a loved one suffered an amputation, contact the Minnesota amputation attorneys at GoldenbergLaw. Our team has more than 35 years of experience providing the Gold standard of advocacy to our clients to get them the justice they deserve. Leave the sleepless nights to us by turning to our team today for a free consultation. Contact us today!