Can medical negligence lead to amputation?
Amputation is a life-changing injury and one that involves a considerable period of readjustment. There are several factors which can lead to the loss or amputation of a limb, one of which is unfortunately medical negligence.
If you’ve suffered an amputation as a result of negligent medical treatment, you may be able to claim compensation.
There are numerous ways in which negligent medical treatment could lead to amputation of a limb, some of which we’ve outlined below.
How can negligent treatment lead to amputation?
If the blood supply to a limb is seriously compromised, medical staff must deal with the situation. This can occur without medical negligence being the cause, for example, following compartment syndrome. However, it’s important that it’s recognised quickly.
Compartment syndrome is a painful and potentially serious condition. It’s caused by bleeding or swelling within an enclosed bundle of muscles (known as a muscle ‘compartment’). It can occur after a crush injury or fracture, or following surgery to a limb, such as a knee replacement.
A failure to diagnose compartment syndrome promptly can mean that the tissue is damaged and amputation may be needed to avoid the limb becoming gangrenous.
Blood supply to a limb can also be compromised if there is an aneurysm in a limb. An aneurysm is a widening in an artery that, if left untreated, can become blocked with a clot. This can deprive the tissues in the lower leg of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in amputation.
When shock occurs after sepsis, the medication given to raise blood pressure constricts the small blood vessels sometimes to the extent that the blood supply to the extremities, such as fingers and toes, is lost resulting in the need to amputate them. Sepsis is most likely to occur following abdominal, kidney and blood stream infections or meningitis.
Amputation may also result directly from an inadequately treated infection in a limb. Diabetics are at increased risk of infection, so substandard treatment and advice can result in the amputation of a limb.
Get in touch with our medical negligence solicitors today
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors have extensive experience helping clients who have suffered the consequences of amputation. We understand how stressful it is to come to terms with a loss of limb and can help you to access support and information outside of the legal process.
Whilst amputation is not always the result of medical negligence, sometimes amputation or loss of limb is avoidable.
For help and advice on making a loss of limb or amputation claim, call our medical negligence solicitors in Bristol on 0117 325 2929. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will get back to you.