“Unthinkable errors by doctors and surgeons—such as amputating the wrong leg or removing organs from the wrong patient—occur more frequently than previously believed,” CNN reported on October 18, 2010. Dr. Martin Makary, a professor of surgery and public health at Johns Hopkins University, blamed human fallibility. “Even the best surgeons can be expected to make mental errors occasionally,” he said.
If your surgeon amputated the wrong limb or you experienced any other traumatic amputation mistake as a result of medical negligence, attorney Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our office for a free consultation. You may also download our free guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio. Our experienced Cleveland amputation attorneys are prepared to guide you throughout the legal process.
HOW AMPUTATION ERRORS OCCUR
The most common traumatic amputations result from:
- A doctor’s failure to perform vascular studies
- Untreated or improperly treated infections
“A lot of wrong-side, wrong-patient errors occur outside of the operating room,” says Dr. Philip Stahel. His study of more than 27,000 medical records “showed that many operating room mistakes start out in biopsy labs or during the imaging and diagnosis process.”
In the case of 2-year-old Malya Jeffers, a strep infection was allowed to take over her body and turn into sepsis as she and her family were left sitting in an emergency room for five hours. As a result, the toddler’s left hand, part of her right hand, and her feet were amputated, according to ABC News.
“When the bacterial infection goes through the bloodstream, you have sepsis and a problem with your blood clotting ability,” said Dr. Ari Brown. “As a result, [the infection] cuts off the blood flow to the extremities and those areas die.” The little girl’s family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and five ER staff members.
According to Fox News, 27-year-old Claudia Mejia reportedly acquired a group A strep infection while giving birth in a hospital.
“As Mejia’s body tried to fight off the deadly bacteria, nurses treated her with minor painkillers Tylenol and ibuprofen,” the site reported. But “[s]he went into toxic shock, her kidneys began to shut down and the blood flow to her arms and legs ceased, causing gangrene to set in.” Doctors ultimately removed the young woman’s uterus and amputated her arms and legs. “She and her lawyers believe she either got the infection… at the hospital or its doctors and nurses failed to quickly and properly treat it.”
FILING AN AMPUTATION LAWSUIT
If you were forced to undergo a traumatic amputation because doctors failed to diagnose an illness, or if you had the wrong arm or leg amputated, our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys can answer your questions and address your concerns.
We may be able to help you pursue compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Altered quality of life
- Any incidental expenses related to your loss, such as modifications you had to make to your home or vehicle
As an example, on February 17, 2014, buffalonews.com reported that a jury awarded a 45-year-old man $9.1 million after a broken ankle led to 12 surgeries and a leg amputation. That amount breaks down to $2.8 million in economic damages for hospital bills and lost income since his disability forced him to stop working, and a total of $6 million in non-economic damages for past and future pain and suffering. His now-ex-wife was awarded $350,000.
According to the paper, Donald Schultz fell on steps and fractured his ankle, which affected the nerves in his pinky toe. A year later, Schultz began seeing a different doctor, who performed several operations before severing the toe. That amputation caused an infection, which led to the amputation of Schultz’s fourth toe. In July 2009, the doctor amputated Schultz’s leg below the knee, and that led to yet another infection, which led to the amputation of what remained of his leg.
HOW THE MELLINO FIRM CAN HELP
If you or a loved one had a limb amputated, you need an attorney who specifically handles those claims and understands how losing an arm or leg has changed and will change your life. You also want to hire someone who won’t be afraid to take your case to court if necessary.
Our medical malpractice lawyers are respected throughout northeast Ohio for their ability to dig below the surface to make sure no fact is overlooked. In fact, Chris Mellino, our founding attorney, has litigated cases that changed state law.
The Mellino Law Firm is the only medical malpractice law firm in Cleveland to be accepted into Primerus, which screens potential members by speaking to judges, other lawyers, bar associations, clients, and insurance carriers about a firm’s integrity, work product, fee structure, education, civility, and community service. In the last three decades, we’ve established a network of resources to help analyze cases and work to make sure clients are well-compensated for their injuries. We also wrote the book on medical malpractice. Request your free copy here, or contact us for a free consultation.