The thought of suffering an accident that leads to the amputation of a digit or limb is understandably frightening, and hopefully something you will never experience. Unfortunately, such amputation accidents, or accidents involving injuries which ultimately progress to medical conditions mandating amputations to protect a patient’s health are common.
The National Amputee Coalition notes:
• There are nearly 2 million people living with limb loss in the United States.
• Among those living with limb loss, the main causes are vascular disease (54%), trauma (45%), and cancer (less than 2%).
• Approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States each year.
• In 2009, hospital costs associated with amputation totaled more than $8.3 billion.
Certain accidents are more likely to lead to an amputation than others. For instance, car collisions are a common cause of limb trauma. In certain instances, if the damaged limb is cared for properly and in a timely manner, it can be reattached. However, in many cases the damage is so severe that reconstruction is not an option, or medical providers fail to preserve a severed limb or appendage appropriately, causing a loss of the option to attempt reattachment.
Other common causes of traumatic amputation include accidents involving lawn mowers, fireworks, heavy machinery, firearms, and doors. Jimmy Fallon, host of the Tonight Show, almost suffered a finger amputation because of an incident with his wedding ring known as ring avulsion, in which a person’s ring gets caught on something and can critically injure the finger.
Medical negligence surrounding a failure to properly treat peripheral vascular disease (clogged arteries in the limbs) and/or diabetes, can result in a lack of blood flow, and may compromise a limb’s tissue to the point where amputation may be necessary.
Many amputations are the result of workplace incidents, especially those involving heavy machinery or agricultural equipment.
If a person has suffered a severe accident with an injury to a limb or digit, a number of important issues must be considered. Proper treatment of the injury is paramount. Poor medical care can lead to an unnecessary amputation that might have otherwise been avoided.
If an amputation of a limb does occur, a person will most likely require a lengthy rehabilitation, in addition to the potential for use of prosthetic limbs requiring long-term medical treatment.
Whatever the circumstances, if you’ve suffered an accident or been a victim of medical negligence that has led to an amputation, it’s critical that you know your rights. Blume Fried Forte Zerres & Molinari have handled voluminous claims of this nature and are sensitive to the needs of our clients in light of such severe injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We can be reached at (973) 635-5400.