If you have suffered a serious injury to an arm or leg as a result of an accident, you expect the hospital to provide you with proper treatment to give you the best chance of recovery. If you do not receive this and your condition gets worse, and you lose a limb or the function in a limb, you may have a claim for negligence against the hospital. Losing a limb can also have a life-changing, psychological effect upon both you and your family.
In nearly all cases, the loss of a limb occurs because of:
Complex bone fractures and soft tissue injuries often cause permanent disability and require urgent specialist surgery. A delay in receiving treatment can lead to later complications.
Starting a claim for clinical negligence is not always an easy decision
You may believe that you or a loved one have not received the appropriate standard of care expected from your doctor or hospital. You may feel that you have been badly let down and have not been given a full explanation.
We recognise that there can be an emotional hurdle to overcome before deciding to seek legal advice.
We can help
Our dedicated team of specialist solicitors has many years of experience in successfully resolving different types of clinical negligence cases. Our team of both male and female lawyers understand that you expect to receive the closest attention, special understanding and expert guidance to help you succeed in making your case.
Our specialist knowledge of both legal and medical issues, together with a sensitive awareness of how everyone involved is affected, means we can help you:
Facts and stats
Up to 20% of hospital infections each year are the result of a procedure (surgical site infections).
Serious limb injuries caused by surgical negligence
Serious limb infections
Limb infections caused by open wound injuries or post-surgery complications can be life-threatening. The failure to promptly diagnose or treat correctly often requires further surgery and can lead to limb amputation.
Lymphoedema - a chronic (long-term) condition caused by a problem with the lymphatic system, which fights infection and drains excess fluid from tissues. Condition can deteriorate unless promptly treated.
Gangrene – the death ofbody tissue, usually in the toes, feet, fingers and hands, caused by loss of blood supply.
Diabetic foot ulcer – an area of broken down skin, usually on the lower leg or feet, which has failed to heal. Caused by high blood sugar levels and nerve damage. Diabetics with reduced nerve functioning are less able to feel sensation from an injury, such as a cut or blister to their feet. Even a mild injury can develop into a foot ulcer.
Peripheral arterial disease – damage or narrowing of the arteries leading to poor circulation of the blood. The body's cells cannot receive the oxygen and nutrients they need from the bloodstream without an adequate blood flow. The affected tissue of the limb dies and infection can set in.
Amputation involving one or more limbs
Reasons why a decision is taken to amputate a limb:
To prevent the spread of infection: Serious injury and damage to limb tissue can lead to the rapid spread of infection. Amputation of the affected limb is often the only measure to prevent the spread of further damage to other parts of the body.
A loss of blood supply, known as Ischaemia: Assessment should be made by a specialist within 12 hours of hospital admission and no more than 14 hours from arrival.
Other causes for amputation may include:
Serious limb injury – do I have grounds for claiming negligence?
Negligence in treating a serious limb injury, which required an amputation, may be caused by:
For a claim of negligence to be successful, you have to show that:
How Your Legal Friend can help you...
When an operation goes wrong or an injury is not properly diagnosed or treated, no amount of compensation will be able to reverse the suffering and distress caused. Vital care, support and specialist equipment will be needed to ensure the best quality of life can be obtained for the victim of an amputated limb.
As experienced clinical negligence specialists, we know that you will want to find out why your surgeon or doctor failed you or a family member in their duty to provide the expected standard of diagnosis, treatment and care.
We ensure your case is properly investigated and your voice heard in order to bring the hospital, health trust or medical practitioner to account for the harm and suffering they have caused, and to prevent others from suffering in a similar way.
Your Legal Friend is committed to ensuring victims of clinical negligence obtain answers and receive appropriate compensation so that their future medical treatment, support, equipment and care needs are properly met.