Amputations refer to the removal of all or a portion of a body part, this can include something as small as a finger or a toe, to all or part of an arm or leg, or an amputation can go so far as to involve the removal of the entire lower half of the body. Amputations can take place directly at the accident site such as at the scene of a car accident or motorcycle accident, or they can occur in battle, as from a gunshot wound or from an explosion. Amputations can also occur in the hospital as a carefully planned surgical procedure.
Amputations occur for reasons due to diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes or Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD); however, they can also be medically necessary after some type of catastrophic accident; for example, after an arm was torn off in a motorcycle accident or after a leg was left completely mangled from an auto accident. As one can imagine, many different types of car accidents are responsible for amputations in the United States and worldwide, given the nature of the injuries that they can cause.
When severe injuries damage certain parts of the body to the extent that the body is incapable of repairing itself, then amputation may become medically necessary. When human tissue dies, infection sets in, which can subsequently cause conditions such as gangrene. The infection site encourages bacteria growth which can then spread to other parts of the body.
Lack of blood flow in the injured body part leads to tissue death and infection, and when serious injuries have damaged the blood vessels beyond repair, the tissues supplied by those blood vessels are unable to survive, and from there infection spreads. When damaged and infected tissue is incapable of regenerating and being restored, amputation becomes necessary in order to protect the remaining parts of the body from serious infection.
Accidents That Cause Amputations
While amputations can be a result of disease, they can also occur during a serious accident. Whether the amputation occurs at the scene of the accident or hours later in an emergency room, it's vital that anyone suffering from an amputation injury seeks medical assistance immediately due to the fact that amputation surgeries (performed under the care of a surgeon) can be life-saving procedures if they are performed in time. Common accidents that lead to amputation injuries include:
The National Limb Loss Information Center (NLLIC) reports that there are nearly 2 million people living with limb loss in the United States, and there are approximately 185,000 amputations each year in the U.S. The annual hospital cost of amputations is over $8 billion dollars annually. (NLIIC)
Amputation surgery can save lives; however, it's still a major surgery. Amputation patients are at risks of complications from anesthesia, heavy blood loss, and developing blood clots. Perhaps one of the greatest concerns is the risk of infection, and this risk is present whether or not the patient proceeds with surgery. After surgery, the stump may not heal properly as a result of inadequate blood supply. When this happens it may become infected, thus requiring a second amputation surgery at a higher level.
Historically speaking, people have been performing amputation surgeries for centuries; however, early surgical techniques were limited due to hemorrhaging and the surgeons' inability to stop the blood loss. By the 1840's, surgeons had the tourniquet which was invented in the late 1600's and they also had anesthesia, which made patients far more comfortable as one can imagine. During the American Civil War, surgeons performed over 50,000 amputations, thus saving the lives of thousands of American soldiers.
Pasadena Personal Injury Lawyer
At McGee, Lerer & Associates, we are a husband and wife team with over 35 years of collective experience. Unlike other firms that handle a variety of practice areas, we are 100% devoted to helping those individuals and their family members who have been harmed in preventable accidents. Over our lengthy legal career, we have seen all types of accidents and injuries, including those involving amputations. We have seen first-hand the devastating effects of an amputation and how it can change the course of your life permanently. If you have had to struggle with an amputation as a result of being involved in an accident, we urge you to contact us immediately. The sooner we can get on board, the better; call us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our caring legal team.