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Amputations and Nursing Home Neglect

Amputations and Nursing Home NeglectWhen a loved one begins to display signs that they need help with daily tasks and managing their health as they age, many families turn to nursing homes and assisted living centers for long-term care. These facilities are designed for high-quality protection and oversight to residents whose families can no longer provide for them on their own. Unfortunately, nursing home patients don’t always receive the consideration they deserve. Improper care can lead to infections, bedsores, serious slip and fall injuries, and more. In some extreme cases, neglect may become so severe that it puts the patient at risk of amputation.

Amputation is considered the removal of all or part of a limb or appendage, such as an arm, leg, foot, hand, toe, or finger. It’s often performed to impede the spread of gangrene due to arteriosclerosis, frostbite, diabetes, injury, or other illnesses that may impair blood circulation. Amputations can emotionally and physically devastate a person and their family, especially if it occurs as a result of negligent or abusive behavior. If a family member has suffered an amputation in the wake of poor care at a nursing home, reach out to the experienced New York elder abuse and neglect attorneys at Dalli & Marino.

Are Amputations Common for Nursing Home Residents?

An estimated 65% of amputations are preventable, and amputations in older nursing home residents are often the result of negligence. When an elderly individual doesn’t receive the care they need, they may develop complications that require surgery. For example, if the nursing home staff fails to help a resident change positions, an infection could eventually become so severe that amputation is required. Patients who have diabetes or suffer from PVD are at especially high risk for amputation when their health isn’t properly maintained.

Not all amputations are the result of neglect. Some medical conditions may cause the loss of a limb, even with the best care. However, there are certainly cases in which substandard attention, inadequate supervision, or a failure to react in a reasonable amount of time leads to an otherwise preventable amputation. If you think that the latter may be the case, get in touch with the skilled elder abuse and neglect attorneys at Dalli & Marino as soon as possible for help recouping compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical suffering, and emotional trauma.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Amputations in Nursing Home Residents?

There are several different types of potential causes for amputations in elderly patients, including the following:

Infected Bedsores

Bedsores—sometimes referred to as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers—are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. They often develop on skin that covers bony areas of the body. Bedsores can develop quickly, and some never heal completely. Older nursing home residents with limited mobility who are confined to their beds are particularly susceptible to pressure sores.

When bedsores do develop, they typically need immediate attention to help prevent infection. Bedsores may also lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition. When infected bedsores are neglected, amputation may be necessary to avoid further complications.

Gangrene

Gangrene is a serious, potentially fatal disease that occurs when parts of the body lose circulation. When these extremities lose blood flow, the feet, toes, legs, or fingers experience tissue death. When an area of gangrenous tissue dies, the skin will gradually turn black. If action isn’t taken quickly, doctors may need to amputate the resident’s foot or leg to save their life. 

Gangrene can kill a patient, so an amputation may be required to stop the spread of necrosis. Even though gangrene is a natural process, a nursing home may still be held responsible for an amputation if they fail to properly recognize and treat the disease in a timely fashion.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose is too high. Many nursing home amputation cases are diabetes-related. Advanced diabetes may lead to a lack of sensation in the extremities and poor circulation. Without sufficient nerve function, residents may not be able to report injuries such as cracks in their feet, which open them up to infection. Even seemingly minor cuts, burns, or other wounds to the feet or hands can quickly become infected if left untreated or unnoticed by negligent nursing home workers.

Call an Experienced Nursing Homes Abuse and Neglect Lawyer in New York City

If a loved one is facing amputation as a result of negligent or abusive behavior at a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact the skilled nursing home abuse attorneys at Dalli & Marino. We’re a group of experienced lawyers who understand New York regulations and government healthcare. Our team of highly-skilled trial attorneys will best be able to help you determine how much compensation you may be awarded based on the circumstances of your case.

At Dalli & Marino, our verdicts and settlements have recovered millions of dollars for our clients since 1996. We approach each case on an individual basis and aim to help you or your loved one recover the money you need to compensate for your loved one’s amputation. Give us a call at (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today.