Amputations Caused By Nursing Home Neglect

Amputations inside of a nursing home should not happen due to the negligent actions of nursing home staff members. Unfortunately, nursing home negligence is a major problem, often combined with existing resident health issues to exasperate the health of a limb. Here, we want to review some of the most common reasons amputations happen as a result of neglect inside of a nursing home setting.

Different Incidents and Issues That Contribute to Nursing Home Amputations

There are several underlying types of diseases and incidents that can occur that lead to the need for an amputation for a nursing home resident. Indeed, sometimes individuals in nursing homes need an amputation to increase their overall health, and nobody is necessarily at fault:

  1. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Reduced blood flow to the extremities, often due to atherosclerosis, can lead to tissue death and necessitate amputation.
  2. Diabetes Complications. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to severe complications such as diabetic foot ulcers, infections, and gangrene, which may result in the need for amputation.
  3. Infections. Severe infections, such as osteomyelitis (bone infection) or untreated soft tissue infections, can spread and require amputation to prevent further complications.
  4. Pressure Ulcers. Also known as bedsores, these can become severely infected and, if not properly managed, may lead to tissue death and necessitate amputation.
  5. Trauma. Accidental injuries, such as severe falls or accidents with medical equipment, can sometimes lead to traumatic injuries that require amputation.
  6. Poor Circulation. Conditions like chronic venous insufficiency or other vascular diseases can lead to poor blood circulation, resulting in tissue death and the need for amputation.
  7. Severe Burns. Extensive burns, although rare in nursing homes, can lead to damage that requires amputation if the tissue cannot be saved.
  8. Malignancies. Cancerous tumors affecting the bones or soft tissues of the limbs may necessitate amputation as part of the treatment to remove the cancerous tissue.
  9. Frostbite. In rare cases, severe frostbite can occur, leading to tissue death and the need for amputation, particularly in extremities like fingers and toes.

Preventive measures in nursing homes must focus on meticulous care for residents with chronic conditions, regular monitoring for signs of infection or poor circulation, proper management of diabetes, and preventive strategies to avoid pressure ulcers and other injuries. Regular training for staff on wound care, early detection of complications, and appropriate response protocols are essential to minimizing the risk of conditions leading to amputations.

We also want to point out that amputation care in a nursing home facility must remain a priority. Individuals in a facility who receive amputations not caused by negligent actions of nursing home staff must receive heightened attention as the wound heals and as they go through physical therapy. Studies show that individuals who receive proper and patient rehabilitation have much better recovery results 6 and 12 months post amputation than those who obtain prosthetics and care in a skilled nursing facility.

Recovering Compensation After Nursing Home Negligence

Nursing home residents who suffer an amputation that likely occurred due to the negligent actions of a nursing home and their staff members may be able to recover compensation for their losses. These claims are challenging, and family members may need to assist when it comes to seeking legal assistance for their loved one. An attorney may be able to help individuals recover compensation for their losses, including coverage of any medical expenses, compensation for emotional and psychological pain and suffering, out-of-pocket losses the family experiences due to the incident, and more.