Amputation due to medical negligence

Our medical negligence solicitors understand what a devastating impact an amputation can have on your life and those around you. You may no longer be able to live independently, it is likely that you will require expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation and you may have suffered emotionally. This is why it is important to seek legal advice if you have suffered the loss of a limb and you think somebody else may be at fault. 

If you feel that you have suffered an avoidable amputation then please call our specialist team on 0203 817 9430, we will be happy to speak to you and offer you some initial advice. 

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Why choose Stephensons?

Here at Stephensons, we have a dedicated team of medical negligence solicitors who have many years experience of handling a variety of amputation claims. Our priority is to investigate how your injury occurred and to obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible to enable you to return to independent living.

When valuing your claim, our specialist solicitors will argue for the cost of any care, medical treatment/rehabilitation, specialist equipment and adaptations to your property that you may require. They will also argue for any past or future lost earnings if you are unable to continue in your employment. In some cases we can secure an early payment of compensation to enable you to have important rehabilitation or medical treatment whilst your claim is ongoing.

Circumstances which might lead to an amputation compensation claim:

  • Failure to diagnose and treat vascular disease
  • Failure to diagnose and treat diabetes
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure or incorrect treatment of ulcers or infections
  • Amputation of an incorrect limb 

Amputation of an incorrect limb

Fortunately, a medical professional amputating the incorrect limb is a very rare occurrence in NHS Trusts. It is one of the NHS’s “never events” described by NHS England as “serious incidents that are wholly preventable” and would be counted as “wrong site surgery”. Each Trust is under an obligation to report all never events, a list which also includes foreign objects being retained following an operation or the misidentification of patients. Since April 2013 NHS England has been responsible for collating and publishing never events.

In order to prevent amputation of an incorrect limb from occurring, there are a number of checks which the surgeon and surgical support staff perform prior to the operation, including speaking to the patient and marking the area for amputation. In addition, when amputation is medically necessary, often, but not always, the unhealthy limb is visually identifiable.

Amputation of a limb is a life-changing event for any patient, but amputation of the incorrect limb means that the patient would have to have a further amputation to remove the medically correct limb. Having both limbs removed has devastating affects on a patient’s future mobility, ability to care for themselves and employment, as well as the likely psychological and emotional impact.  

Failure or incorrect treatment of ulcers and infections

If you suffer an ulcer or infection in a wound on any part of your body, it is important that you receive the correct treatment to the area concerned in order to remedy the condition and prevent it from worsening.

It is important that your primary care giver acts promptly in providing you with treatment as well as ensuring you receive the correct treatment. Without this, your condition could deteriorate to the point that treatment becomes ineffective and this can lead to devastating consequences.

What is an ulcer?

An ulcer is an open sore caused by a break in the skin. Externally, they most commonly appear in legs and feet due to cardiovascular issues or on any pressure point on the skin such as heels, elbows, shoulders, inner knees and low back due to pressure on the skin in that area.  It is important that whatever the cause of the ulcer, you receive appropriate treatment as soon as possible from a healthcare professional. The ulcer will likely take weeks or even longer to heal so it is important that you receive regular check up appointments to ensure the treatment is working and the area is healing.   

What is a wound infection?

A wound infection is when bacteria enters a break in the skin. This may be after something traumatic like surgery, or through an ulcer or even something as simple as suffering a shallow cut or graze. If a wound of any kind becomes infected, it is important that you seek medical assistant. The wound needs to be cleaned and appropriate antibiotics given. 

What happens if I do not receive treatment or the correct treatment?

Whether your GP, district nurses or local hospital are treating your condition, it is so important you receive prompt treatment and the correct treatment, for example, the correct antibiotics to fight the particular infection, or the correct dressings to keep the wound clean.  Without this, your condition may deteriorate and it could get to the point where unfortunately the correct treatment, even though provided later, will no longer work.  This can often result in the loss of a limb, a treatment measure provided in order to prevent a person’s condition deteriorating further and leading to their death.

The amputation of a limb can have a huge impact on a person’s life as well as their families’ lives. It can be difficult for the person to adapt to and they may be entitled to compensation if that loss of limb was avoidable.  

For expert advice call us on 0203 817 9430 and speak to a member of our clinical negligence team to discuss your compensation claim today. Alternatively you can send our clinical negligence team an email via our contact form

Recently settled amputation claims

  • Claire Mooney settled a claim in the sum of £300,000 for a man who suffered a right below knee amputation following a failure to diagnose and treat diabetes and the subsequent failure to diagnose and treat an arterial ulcer 

  • Tom Mooney settled a claim for £100,000 for a client who required an above the knee amputation as a result of a delay in referring him to a vascular surgeon

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