How Can Wrong Limb Amputations Happen?
Philadelphia – Pennsylvania – New Jersey – New York
It is amazing to think that sometimes, when you go to have a amputation, the surgeon cuts off the wrong limb. And yet, this king of wrong site surgery does happen, despite the fact that there is no excuse for it. Amputation of the wrong limb is not common but it is not as uncommon as it should be. Having the wrong limb removed is called a never event. This means, as the name suggests, that it should never happen. Of course, if you have the wrong limb amputated, it still means that you require the correct amputation. This could leave you with no feet, legs, hands or arms. If you experience this kind of horrific event, please contact the firm of Lowenthal & Abrams. We will help you pursue a medical malpractice case due to the terrible harm you suffered.
Preventing Wrong Limb Amputation
To combat the chances of having the wrong limb cut off or the wrong site operated upon, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has released steps for surgeons to follow. The list asks doctors, hospitals, and nurses to:
- Mark the operation site and involve patients in the process.
- Require oral verification of the correct site by each member of the operating team.
- Follow a verification checklist that ensure that the limb being amputated is the correct limb and that the limb is in need of amputation.
- Directly involve the operating surgeon in the informed consent process.
- Engage in ongoing monitoring to make sure verification procedures are followed.
Even with checklists in place, mistakes happen. Some studies place the incorrect amputation rate as high as three percent. Amputation of the wrong limb can cause serious physical as well as emotional damage. Many victims suffer shock and depression. While the Joint Commission has made recommendations, and created an online resource, those suggestions have not been implemented. In fact, in a major case other doctors defended the doctor who amputated the wrong leg in his efforts to regain his license.
There is no Excuse for the Wrong Limb to be Amputated
If you have been the victim of an erroneous or incorrect amputation, please contact the Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers of Lowenthal & Abrams at 888-979-7298 today. We will help you seek the compensation to which you are entitled due to this grievous error.