elderly amputee in wheelchair on park pathYou expected to deal with many health problems for your loved one as she aged, but amputation was not one of them. Now, when your loved one should be living comfortably, she has to deal with the physical pain of amputation, and she has to learn how to live without a limb because of her nursing home’s negligence.

How an Untreated Infection Can Lead to Amputation

Your loved one’s illness started with an infection. The nursing home failed to recognize the signs of an infection and treat it in a timely manner. They then failed to transfer her to the hospital for emergency treatment, and the infection developed into sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

Sepsis is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment to prevent death. One of the serious medical problems caused by sepsis is blood clotting. Sepsis can cause small blood clots to form throughout the body. These blood clots can prevent blood from reaching different parts of the body. If blood does not reach the tissue in an appendage such as a toe, leg, foot, finger, arm, or hand, that part of the body may develop gangrene. You may see signs of gangrene if the skin color changes to a blue/purple and then black. When this happens, an amputation surgery is necessary to remove the gangrenous tissue to prevent it from spreading.

According to the charitable group Sepsis Alliance, on average, there are about 38 sepsis-related amputations every day. The surgery and surgical recovery can be traumatic, and once the recovery period is over, the trauma may continue.

Living With the Loss of a Limb

Recovery from an amputation depends on many factors, including what was amputated and your loved one’s overall health. After the initial recovery, your loved one needs to learn to live without the digit or limb that was amputated. She may:

  • Experience phantom pain that feels very real in the amputated area
  • Develop sores or infections in the amputated area
  • Benefit from physical therapy and occupational therapy as she adjusts to her post-amputation life
  • Benefit from prosthetics if she is strong enough and well enough to use them

Your loved one’s unique medical needs and recovery goals should be considered as she moves past the amputation surgery.

Compensation for Sepsis Amputation

Amputation surgeries and recoveries are expensive. If the nursing home’s negligence allowed sepsis to develop or go untreated, the nursing home might be legally responsible for paying for your loved one’s sepsis damages. For your loved one, sepsis damages may include:

  • Medical expenses. Medical expenses for an amputation may be significant and could consist of medications, surgeries, hospital stays, prosthetics, doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Any additional costs related to treating the sepsis should also be part of your loved one’s recovery.
  • Out-of-pocket costs. Any out-of-pocket costs related to sepsis should be part of your loved one’s compensation. This may include adaptive devices that your loved one needs because of her amputation surgery.
  • Pain and suffering. The physical pain and emotional distress caused by sepsis amputation are often significant. While money can’t undo the pain and suffering your loved one experiences, it is the only way the legal system has to compensate your loved one for these injuries. Therefore, pain and suffering should be part of your loved one’s negotiated settlement or court verdict.

In some situations, additional damages may be possible.

Gray & White Law Accepts Nursing Home Negligence Cases

The nursing home is not going to admit wrongdoing or provide fair compensation to your loved one unless it is legally compelled to do so. Our experienced nursing home injury lawyers are committed to helping all Kentucky nursing home residents get the fair recoveries they deserve after an injury. We will provide your loved one with the personal attention she deserves as we evaluate, investigate, negotiate, and litigate her claim.

To learn more, please download a free copy of our book, Fighting Back Against Nursing Home Abuse: What Families Need to Know to Help Their Loved One, and please contact us any time—24/7/365—to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced Kentucky nursing home injury lawyers.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky

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