Amputation, or the surgical removal of an extremity, may occur among nursing home residents. Most amputations are performed in order to control pain or the spread of infection or disease in the affected limb. What many people do not realize is that many amputations that affect nursing home residents may be prevented. If you or a loved one is a nursing home resident and has had a limb amputated we strongly encourage you to consult with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.
Call (602) 786-8860 to explore your legal options.
Causes of Amputation in Nursing Homes
Amputation of a limb can result from several different conditions. Here are a few of the more common causes:
- Decubitus Ulcers (bed sores) – Also known as pressure sores or bed sores, these skin ulcerations can quickly lead to infection and amputation if not caught and treated early. Residents with limited mobility are especially prone to these sores. Diabetics are also at high risk. Nursing home residents must be moved routinely to prevent the development of these ulcerations.
- Diabetes – A large number of amputations among nursing home residents are diabetes related. Many of these are preventable. Some estimates state that as many as 25% of nursing home residents have diabetes. Advanced diabetes often leads to a lack of sensation in the extremities and poor circulation. Even the most minor cuts, burns or other wounds to the feet or hands can quickly become infected if left untreated. Federal and state regulations require that diabetic nursing home residents must have their extremities constantly checked in order to prevent such infection.
- Trauma – Inadequate supervision or assistance can result in falls. There have been several cases of bone fractures that have gone unnoticed leading to advanced infection and amputation. Many cases of thermal trauma (burns and frostbite) have also been reported. In some cases, nursing home patients have been allowed to wander off (elopement).
- Other Causes – Undiagnosed cancer, sepsis, or other infections can also result in amputation.
Our attorneys include medical doctors. We know the physical and mental anguish that amputees go through. We also know that each of the common causes of amputation among nursing home residents can be prevented if proper standards of care are maintained.
If you or a loved one reside in a nursing home in the Arizona area,and have lost a limb by amputation, please contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Cullan & Cullan today to arrange your case evaluation.