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When your doctor amputates the wrong limb

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

The decision to have a limb amputated is a serious one, often resulting from a major accident or illness. Imagine waking up after surgery to learn that the wrong limb was amputated due to a mistake. The doctor then informs you that amputating the correct limb is still necessary. One mistake could change your life forever.

Errors like this may seem unlikely, but they do happen in operating rooms around the world. In 2021, an Austrian physician made headlines when she amputated the wrong leg of her patient. In the United States, surgery on the wrong body part occurs almost forty times a week. These statistics should give anyone considering surgery pause.

What if this happens to you?

Errors in surgeries such as amputations are quite expensive and it is possible that your health insurance will not cover the cost of amputating the remaining limb. Physicians and hospitals carry medical malpractice insurance for this reason.

Erroneous limb amputations can result in severe physical and psychological harm. Victims often experience depression and shock. In addition, it can be challenging for an amputee to return to their previous job in the same capacity as before the amputation. Losing the wrong limb can prevent a professional athlete, musician, seamstress or chef from performing their duties. Because of this, a victim of surgical error may hold a negligent party responsible for lost earnings and future earning potential.

You have the right to compensation from the surgeon and the hospital for your pain and suffering, lost income, medical expenses and rehabilitation costs when a surgical error permanently changes your life. You may also be able to receive compensation for any modifications made to your home to accommodate your disability. 

If you have had the wrong limb amputated or suffered any other surgical errors, it’s important to seek guidance when filing a malpractice claim.