When Medical Malpractice Leads To Amputation
Medical errors are a top cause of death and disability in the US, but there is a form of harm that you may not expect from a health care provider’s negligence: Amputation of major limbs or extremities. According to the Amputee Coalition of America, of the 185,000 amputations that occur in the US every year, approximately 83,250 are the result of unintentional trauma. While it is true that many of these victims were involved in auto crashes and other accidents, medical malpractice is also a primary cause of limb loss.
When amputation is the direct result of a mistake by a healthcare provider, Florida law provides you with legal remedies. You may qualify to recover compensation for your losses, which can be extreme for someone who suffered limb loss. You can trust a Miami medical malpractice lawyer for legal help, but it is important to understand some of the basics about your rights.
How Medical Malpractice Leads to Loss of Limb
At the outset, you should understand the definition of medical negligence under Florida law. In delivering care and making medical decisions, a doctor is required to use the same level of care, skill, and treatment as another hypothetical physician would under similar circumstances. The key is whether the health care provider’s actions represent a deviation from prevailing medical standards and what a reasonably prudent doctor would have done.
In this context, you can see that amputation may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim where the physician:
- Performs surgery on the wrong limb
- Misdiagnoses a medical condition, such as diabetes or vascular disease
- Leaves a sponge or surgical instrument in the body, which can cause infection requiring amputation
- Uses unsterile medical devices, such as catheters, IVs, and respiratory equipment
- Fails to monitor a patient for blood clots after surgery
- Prescribing the wrong medication or telling a patient to stop taking certain drugs
Extreme Losses for Amputees
The consequences of wrongful amputation are devastating, though the full extent of your losses will depend on the part of the body affected. Losing legs or lower extremities means issues with mobility, while upper body limb loss impairs manual abilities. Medical costs could skyrocket, and you may need to invest in assistive devices. Some amputations may lead to total or partial disability, rendering you unable to work in your chosen occupation.
For many amputees, the biggest challenge of limb loss is quality of life. You may not be able to enjoy favorite activities, and your injuries could impact your relationships with loved ones. It is possible to recover damages for these losses through a medical malpractice claim.
Our South Florida Med Mal Attorneys Pursue Negligent Health Care Providers
It is unthinkable that a physician could make an egregious error that results in amputation, but you may be relieved to know that you have options under Florida law. For more information, please contact the Miami medical malpractice lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation to review your situation and determine how to proceed.