A person who has been injured may find that the damage to a specific part of their body is so severe that it needs to be removed immediately. The surgical removal of a digit or limb is called amputation and it is often done as a last resort to save a person’s life or quality of life. Many diseases and illnesses, as well as accidents that cause serious injury, may require the amputation of some part of the body.
Accident related amputation injuries require an extremely detailed investigation and analysis immediately. Given the impact an amputation injury has on an individual and their family, it is imperative that the maximum amount of financial compensation is recovered to help with the harms and losses of such a significant injury. When this level of compensation is involved, the insurance industry will work as hard as possible to find a way to escape paying such a large amount of money. Call The Dixon Injury Firm in St. Louis if you have suffered an amputation injury for a FREE Consultation on your legal rights at (314) 409-7060.
Some of the common categorizes of amputations include:
- Leg amputations are even further divided into minor and major categories. A minor amputation can include the amputation of the toes or part of the foot, while a major amputation can involve the removal of the leg below the knee, removal of the leg above the knee, and the leg removed at the hip.
- Arm amputations can include the removal of the fingers, the hands, the forearm, the arm removed above the elbow, and the arm removed at the shoulder.
- There is also a category of other amputations and this can include removing the ears, nose, tongue, eyes, breasts, and genitals.
While some amputations need to be done for medical reasons like diabetes, sepsis, and cancer, many amputations are the result of a traumatic accident. When an amputation occurs from an accident, it may have happened during the accident or as a result of an extensive injury from the accident.
The American Statistical Association states that there were 14,420 non-fatal traumatic amputations in the United States in 1999. The causes of 4,435 of these amputations were from transportation and traffic accidents, while 9,985 of them were from labor accidents.
Reported Missouri Amputation Accidents Include:
- Traffic accidents: Accidents involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, trains, ATVs and other motorized vehicles can turn serious very quickly.
- Labor accidents: Chainsaws, table saws, meat machines, press machines, equipment, cylinders, and other machinery used on job sites and workplaces can be extremely dangerous. Numerous workers compensation claims revolved around amputation injuries while at work.
- Agricultural accidents: Riding mowers, other mowing equipment, agricultural machines, and other large farm equipment must be operated with great care. Accidents don’t happen often, but they can be catastrophic when they do.
- Electric shock hazards: Electricity is a very dangerous when it is not handled properly. Accidents happen and are often fatal.
- Weapons and explosives: Guns, fireworks, dynamite, and bombs are very common causes of amputations.
- Violent rupture of industry cable or ship rope: Cabling is used in a variety of ways in warehouses and other job sites around St. Louis. Cables are generally pulled taut and are continuously under a great deal of pressure. The results of a failed cable can be fatal.
- Medical mistakes: Reports exists of doctors mistakenly amputating the wrong body part of an individual. These medical mistake cases make an already devastating situation unknowingly worse.
Doctors will try everything that they can to save the limb if it is still attached after a serious accident. However, if the limb becomes gangrenous and a person’s life is in danger, or the limb doesn’t respond to other treatment, the doctor will surgically amputate.
The doctor will first suture the artery and veins to prevent them from bleeding and then transect the muscles in the limb. An oscillating saw is then used to cut through the bone and the limb is removed. The sharp edges of the remaining bone are filed down and the muscle flaps and skin are folded over and attached together over the stump.
Doctors have to act quickly if a limb is amputated during the accident. They must suture the artery and veins to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible. A person can lose a tremendous amount of blood within a short amount of time in this situation and death could be imminent.
Complications from Amputations:
Given the severity of an amputation injury, complications vary greatly. The following are some of the general complications that may occur:
- Fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, drainage, or bleeding
- Increased pain at the amputation site
- Numbness and tingling in the existing portion of the amputated limb
There are also numerous other non physical injuries amputees face after an amputation:
- Psychological trauma: The physical trauma that leads to amputation and the amputation itself is obvious. The psychological trauma is more difficult to deal with and difficult for others to see at a glance.
- Emotional discomfort: Amputees often worry that others will see them as less than whole or they see themselves in that light. Depression is fairly common among amputees as well as other emotional problems.
- Phantom limbs: Between 50% and 80% of amputees will feel the limb that is no longer attached to their body. The nonexistent limb can itch, ache, burn, or feel like it is moving.
- Heterotopic ossification: This is a situation in which the brain tells the bone to grow where it was amputated instead of letting scar tissue form. This can cause nodules and other growths to form and will cause a problem for people who want to wear a prosthetic.
Technology has advanced in recent years and many amputees can wear prosthetics or artificial limbs. Each prosthetic is custom made for each individual. Precise measurements must be taken before the limb can be made, so that it fits perfectly. The prosthetics will then allow an amputee to live an active life with very little restrictions.
Legal Representation for Amputation Injuries
The Dixon Injury Firm is here help those suffering from an accident gather the evidence needed to obtain the compensation they deserve. We are honored to help those suffering fight for the financial security necessary following an injury. Our Top 100 Trial Lawyers are standing by to provide a Free Consultation to anyone suffering from an accident by calling The Dixon Injury Firm at 314-409-7060. We are here to help.