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Wrong Limb Amputation

Doctors are sometimes forced with the difficult decision of advising their patient to amputate a limb or part of a limb in an effort to prevent a disease from spreading or worsening. What makes any decision more difficult for the patient are the horror stories of surgeons removing the wrong limb.

When a doctor removes the wrong limb or wrong part of a limb, it is called a wrong limb amputation. It is, by the time the error is realized, an irreversible mistake that can cause severe discomfort and severe disability. The biggest problem with wrong limb amputation is that an individual who loses the wrong limb the first time then has to lose the correct limb the next time in order for the process to be correct.

Wrong limb amputation most frequently occurs in individuals whose two limbs look almost identical. In obvious cases where one limb is clearly damaged and the other is perfect, there is not typically a problem as the doctor can easily figure out which one needs to be amputated. When both limbs look about the same, the question is a little more difficult. Of course, this is not an acceptable excuse for such a tragic mistake.

Another huge problem with wrong limb amputations is that the condition that caused the limb to require amputation in the first place is allowed to continue. If a limb is being amputated due to the presence of bone cancer that is not responding to chemo or radiation, the cancer is allowed to grow while the doctors have removed the incorrect limb. This can result in spreading or worsening of the disease which can require that more of the correct limb be amputated later.

Contact an Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have been the victim of wrong limb amputation or some other form of medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers of the Hankey Law Office at 317-634-8565.