Each year, as many as 185,000 Americans have at least one of their limbs amputated. While you may think that these incidents occur as the result of car or workplace accidents, they don’t. Instead, a large percentage of amputations happen because of poor management of vascular conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Plaque tends to build up in a patient’s arteries when they’re smokers, have high blood pressure are older than 60 or have diabetes. This blocking of their arteries in their limbs makes it difficult for blood to flow freely as it needs to, making it necessary to amputate their limbs.
Research shows that those belonging to minority groups have as much as four times the risk of amputation than do Caucasians.
The path that a patient must follow to cope with missing a limb is a long and costly one. Most individuals who undergo one amputation often need a second one later in life. Lifetime costs associated with caring for am amputee can easily reach a half of a million dollars.
Although technology exists to identify and treat early stage PAD, some medical advocacy groups argue that more federal government funding and support are necessary to make it widely available to all. These same groups note that it’s important for more screening of at-risk populations to take place. It’s necessary for them to undergo more extensive arterial testing and have access to more skilled medical staff too.
Doctors are held to the reasonable and duty of care standards. This means that they’re responsible for providing patients with a level of care that any other similarly trained physician, with the same equipment and in the same geographic area would provide. A Tampa medical malpractice attorney can help you determine what that reasonable steps your doctors should have taken to properly diagnose your condition to avoid an amputation.