I’m so sorry to hear about your amputation. As an amputee, I understand the trauma that comes along with an amputation. I assume your amputation was done on an emergency basis, and that you were unconscious and were unable to make the decision about amputation.
In that situation, typically a family member must decide about the amputation. If no family members can be located quickly enough, healthcare providers must make the decision about amputation.
Normally, there are a couple of reasons an emergency amputation may be performed. The first is when a traumatic accident occurs. The limb could be lost at the scene of the accident, or may be so badly damaged that it must be removed in a hospital. The other common reason an emergency amputation may be done is if a severe infection has set in, and the individual is going into septic shock. Septic shock can quickly kill if not treated. In some cases, amputation may be the only appropriate treatment.
Emergency amputations are very rare. Normally, there is time for a patient to discuss the pros and cons of amputations and what other options may be available. The patient may be able to salvage the limb, but in some cases that may not be a good solution.
In most emergency amputations, the doctors struggle with the decision to amputate and may do everything possible to consult with family members and/or the patient. However, if a doctor truly believes that an amputation is the only way to save the patient’s life, it may occur without the amputee’s approval.
If you have undergone an amputation and you believe that it was not necessary, you may wish to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help advise you on your best course of action. Call me, Conal Doyle, Amputation Attorney, at 310-385-0567. I am not only a personal injury attorney, but I’m also an amputee, and I help other amputees with their legal issues. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.