Amputation Solicitors - Accident Injury Claim Lawyers

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In most cases amputation injury is not caused by a car accident however there is a significant proportion that is a direct result of motor vehicle collisions. Road traffic accidents are a major cause of traumatic injury and represent more than half of all cases handled by personal injury solicitors. If you have been injured in an accident and you want to make a compensation claim for personal injury and loss just complete the contact form, email our lawyers offices or use the solicitors helpline. Our amputation solicitors offer legal advice at no cost and without further obligation. If our amputation solicitors deal with your claim it will be on a no win no fee basis, compensation is paid in full and you do not have to fund or finance your accident compensation claim.

Traumatic Amputations

A traumatic amputation occurs when all or some of a body part is accidentally severed. Traumatic amputations can be either complete or incomplete. If the amputation is complete, the body part is totally detached from the body. If the amputation is partial or incomplete, then the body part remains attached by a small amount of soft tissue.

Our limbs and appendages are most vulnerable to traumatic amputation. Body parts such as arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, ears and noses can all be accidentally amputated. There are a number of ways that a traumatic amputation can occur. Car accidents are perhaps the most common reason that amputation solicitors take legal action. Workplace accidents and violent crimes can also result in traumatic amputations. Those who work with heavy machinery or use power tools regularly are at the greatest risk.

Facts

Men are at a higher risk for traumatic amputations than women, making up approximately 80% of all traumatic amputation victims. Most traumatic amputation victims are between the ages of 15 and 40. Some of the most common incidents that lead to traumatic amputations are motor vehicle accidents, construction site accidents and work injury accidents. Individuals whose jobs involve working with power tools and heavy machinery are at a particularly high risk of a work injury amputation accident.

Complete or Incomplete

A traumatic amputation is an injury involving the accidental severing of a body part. Amputations fall into one of two categories: complete or incomplete. A complete amputation occurs when the amputated body part is entirely severed from the body, meaning no muscles, ligaments or tissues remain connected to the body. With a partial amputation, a ligament, muscle or tendon remains intact and the amputated part is still connected to the body.

Classification

Amputations are categorized is being either proximal or distal. A proximal amputation is one that involves a body part that is closely attached to the body’s core, such as a leg that has been amputated at the hip or an arm that has been amputated at the shoulder. A distal amputation occurs when the amputated part is further from the core, such as an amputation of the toes or fingers. Distal amputations are the more common of the two.

A third way that amputations are described is as being simple or complex. With a complex traumatic amputation, further complications are present, such as shock or other injuries. A simple amputation is one in which additional complications are not present.

Re-attachment

Depending on the nature and severity of the amputation, it is sometimes possible to reattach the amputated part to the victim’s body. In order to assess the likelihood that the reattachment will be successful, a diagnostic tool known as the Mangled Extremity Severity Score (MESS) is used. Note that the MESS is used only in cases of lower limb amputations. The MESS takes into account the following four factors :-

  • severity of the injury
  • ischaemia (whether a pulse is present in the amputated body part)
  • presence of shock
  • victim’s age

MESS scores range from 2 to 14. A MESS score of 7 points or higher indicates that the limb must be amputated. If the score is 6 or less, there is a good chance that reattachment will be successful. In calculating the score, the final number is automatically doubled if there has been little to no blood supply to the amputated body part for more than six hours.

In determining whether to attempt reattachment, the surgeon also takes into account the patient’s overall lifestyle and personal wishes. The surgeon will evaluate the effect the amputation would have on the victim’s ability to perform daily tasks as well as its effect on the victim’s quality of life.

In addition to the MESS, other diagnostic tools that can be used include :-

  • predictive salvage index PSI
  • mangled extremity syndrome index MESI
  • limb salvage index LSI
  • nerve injury, ischemia, soft-tissue contamination, skeletal damage, shock, age NISSA

Preserving the Amputated Body Part

If the amputated body part is properly stored, reattachment can be successful up to as much as 24 hours after the accident occurred. Muscle tissue that is not properly preserved will survive for only about six hours. To preserve the body part, start by removing any debris or foreign materials. Then wrap the part in a clean cloth and place it in a sealed bag. Finally, place the bag in a container filled with ice or cold water. Remember, however, it is more important to save the victim's life than to save the amputated body part. Never delay in transporting the victim to a hospital because you are trying to locate the amputated body part.

Symptoms and Complications

Traumatic amputations are potentially fatal injuries. Shock can result from massive blood loss, or the site of the amputation may become infected. Other potential physical symptoms and complications include :-

  • muscle contracture
  • pulmonary embolism
  • skin problems
  • limited range of motion in reattached body part
  • pain
  • oedema
  • wound breakdown
  • neurological problems
  • phantom limb sensations

In addition to these physical complications, victims of traumatic amputations also suffer great emotional distress. Self-esteem and body image issues can be just as damaging to the victim as the physical effects of the amputation. To ensure that the victim receives full compensation for their injuries, both the physical and emotional effects of the amputation must be addressed.

Amputation Solicitors

An amputation is a partial or complete loss of a limb due to a traumatic injury or removal due to tumour of the affected limb. It can be done accidentally, in a trauma, or intentionally, such as in a surgery which removes a limb. Amputation is not new and surgeries to move limbs along with artificial limbs have been done as early as 2000 years ago. A limb amputation can attract very considerable awards of damages.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a traumatic amputation in a work injury accident, contact our amputation compensation solicitors today. One of our specialist catastrophic injury lawyers will provide you with free legal advice on your potential claim. If you would like advice at no cost just complete the contact form or email our offices or call the solicitors helpline and a lawyer will telephone to give information on how to protect your legal right to claim compensation with no further obligation.

Amputation Overview

Why would you need an amputation? Amputations can be performed if there is atherosclerosis and damage to the distal leg or arm so that there is poor circulation to the affected areas. The amputation is done just above where the atherosclerosis is so that the wound will have circulation and will heal. About 30-40 percent of all amputations are done because of diabetes. Diabetes can cause recurrent foot ulcers and atherosclerosis of the leg so that it needs to be amputated. Those people who smoke are at an even greater risk of amputation, especially if the person is diabetic.

Gangrene of the leg is another reason for an amputation. This is a blackening of the leg or toes from poor circulation due to atherosclerosis. Bypass surgery can prevent some of the cases of amputation as a result of hardening of the arteries. If this is not possible, then amputation is the only real route to save the individual from infection and pain in the leg. Serious accident, such as crush injuries can cause an amputation. Tumours or cancers can be treated by amputating the affected leg.

There are several types of amputation including major and minor procedures. Minor amputations involve just the toes or part of the foot and can be done for toe gangrene from diabetes or atherosclerosis. Major amputations can be done on an entire limb. They can be above the knee or below the knee or at the level of the hip in severe cases. Arm amputations can be done above or below the elbow and are usually done secondary to injury.

The foot can be cut off by doing a cut through the ankle joint itself in a Symes amputation. Amputations can also be done through the knee joint itself or along any part of the long joints. Removal of the entire leg with amputations through the hip joint is rare but possible.

In minor amputations, the area where the limb is removed is not always sutured together and is allowed to heal secondarily. They can heal really well within about one to three months. You can walk relatively normally if you are missing some of your toes, especially if it is not the great toe. Minor toe amputations are common in foot infections and in patients with diabetes.

It is usually possible to decide where to best do a major amputation. The doctor can do an angiogram to see where the circulation stops off. The doctor can assess the colour and sensation of the skin in order to decide where the amputation needs to be done. If done too low, the amputation does not heal and another amputation higher up needs to be done. The blood supply to the remaining limb is the most important factor in healing of the amputated area.

The risks of amputation go up with the height of the amputation required. Risks include breakdown of the amputation an ongoing infection at the stump. Good blood supply to the affected limb determines whether or not the amputation is going to heal.

Amputations affect people in different ways. Some people experience a sense of loss or bereavement when the limb is lost. It can take a long time in order to get used to the idea that the limb is lost. This is made worse because of phantom limb pain that makes a person feel as though the limb is still present. Phantom limb pain can be an indefinite thing. Getting a prosthetic limb can improve the sense of bereavement a person feels after limb loss.

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 339 958