Nursing Home Lawyer PA

Amputation

Amputation is defined as the removal of an extremity by trauma, illness, or surgery. When used as a surgical intervention, the goal is for improved pain control or to stop a progressive disease in the affected limb.

Risk Factors

People at increased risk for amputations are those with peripheral vascular disease and diabetes. Peripheral vascular disease is a condition of the circulatory system. Fat and calcium build up on the walls of blood vessels cause narrowing that results in reduced blood reaching the extremities. People with PVD account for over 80% of amputations.

Another risk factor for amputation is diabetes. Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that influence how your blood sugar is used in the body. Diabetes can lead to a surplus of sugar in your blood resulting in serious health problems. High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage in your body, including your legs and feet. Nerve damage can diminish the body’s ability to feel pain or symptoms of infections or sores. Treating diabetic complications, such as serious infections or gangrene, also referred to as tissue death, can be challenging. In severe situations, amputating the affected area is the only way to resolve an infection or gangrene.

The only mistake you can make is not asking for help.

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Because of the higher risk for amputations, careful measures must be taken to monitor and address the medical issues of residents with PVD and diabetes. Residents with either of these diagnoses are prone to wounds, especially on their lower extremities. It is critical that nursing home staff regularly assess these wounds and, with the orders of a physician, implement appropriate treatments.

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Importance of Infection Control

Always using proper infection control measures is vital to safe resident wound care. Unfortunately, many nursing homes neglect to properly monitor and treat wounds caused by PVD and diabetes can result in serious infections, such as osteomyelitis, and gangrene. These complications are difficult to treat and often required amputation to resolve.

Examples of poor wound care or infection control during wound care include:

Wounds not monitored at least weekly

Staff fails to wash hands before care

Lack of dedicated or disposable equipment

Wound care not performed according to physician orders

Staff not properly trained in wound care

Equipment not disinfected properly

Contact an attorney today

If you are concerned that your loved one has suffered an amputation due to poor care at a nursing home, the first step is to request the medical record. Consultation with a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can help identify the amputation may have been avoidable and was due to nursing home neglect. Many nursing home abuse attorneys will provide a consultation at no cost to you. Additionally, contingency fee attorneys do not take a fee unless they win your case.