Amputation is the removal of a body part via surgery or trauma. It is usually performed to stop a disease from spreading.
Amputation has a rather colorful history that began in the 15th century when doctors performed surgical intervention on gangrenous or severely injured limbs.
“Needless to say, the results were often less than perfect due to infection and major blood loss,” says Cleveland medical malpractice attorney Christopher Mellino.
Amputations weren’t performed with any degree of frequency until the 19th century, when anesthesia was introduced and blood loss and infection control became more effective.
By the time the 20th century rolled around, better medicine resulted in better amputations, including prosthetic limbs and longer, healthier lives.
In the 21st century, the major reasons for amputations included gangrene, diabetic foot infections, bone infections, cancerous bone or soft tissue tumors, and traumatic limb injuries.
Such a loss is difficult enough when a patient expects this type of surgery. Imagine how he or she would feel upon waking up in the hospital and discovering the wrong limb was amputated?
“If a person wasn’t expecting to lose a limb and wakes up missing an arm, a foot, or a leg, the results are devastating,” says Mellino.
Aside from the possibility of a limb being amputated by mistake, there is also the chance that an amputation does not go as expected, and the results are less than optimal.
According to virtualmedicinecentre.com, between 50 and 80 percent of amputees suffer phantom limb pain, during which the patient feels the missing extremity, even though it is no longer there. This neuropathic pain may include burning, itching, and aching.
If you have questions about an amputation, attorneys Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt welcome you to contact their Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download or request Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide to filing a claim in Ohio.