Sometime in 2012, a patient went to see her doctor due to a numb leg. She thought that the numbness in her leg was a side effect of the medication (known to cause clotting) that she was then taking. Despite the difficulty to find a pulse in her foot as her doctor noted, the latter decided that no treatment was needed. Due to the clot, however, the tissues in woman’s leg began to die, eventually resulting to her leg needing to be amputated.
Amputation is a surgical procedure wherein the whole or a part of an extremity (limb) such as an arm, hand, finger, leg, foot, or toe is removed. The most common reason for amputation is poor blood circulation which may be due to peripheral arterial disease (the narrowing of the arteries or damage to the arteries). Poor blood circulation causes the cells in the affected body part not get their needed oxygen and nutrients, resulting to tissue death and possible infection.
Though there is loss of a limb (or part of it), amputation can rather save a life, such as by preventing an infection or cancer to spread or by preventing foot ulcers to lead to serious infections, such as in the case of a diabetic. However, due to the complications or risks of amputation, besides the list of inconvenience and disadvantages in the life of a patient, amputating a limb will only need to be performed if really necessary, meaning, it is the correct treatment needed by a patient.
That there have been cases wherein patients’ limbs have been amputated due to mistakes committed by doctors is no secret. This, and many other mistakes committed by medical professionals occur due to improper treatment, one of the many types of medical malpractice (which is an act of negligence by a medical professional, resulting to provision of sub-standard medical care which, in turn, causes injury or death to a patient).
In an improper treatment case, a doctor has correctly diagnosed a patient’s health condition, thus, he/she knows exactly what the patient’s health problem is; however, for whatever reason, he/she gives the patient with the wrong treatment.
Some of the ways through which improper treatment may be committed, include:
- Giving a patient the wrong dose of a drug;
- Prescribing a drug to a patient despite such patient’s known allergy to such drug;
- Delaying, rushing, or performing an unnecessary or a dangerous treatment;
- Inadequate monitoring of a patient; and,
- Failing to take the necessary measures which will prevent a disease.
Medical malpractice lawyers, such as those from the Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® law firm know and believe that doctors and other healthcare professionals are held to high standards, as even seemingly minor errors can have dramatic consequences on patients’ health and well-being. Unfortunately, not all doctors act as carefully and responsibly as they should, exposing their patients to the threat of serious illnesses or injuries. Thus, because of the devastating repercussions that medical malpractice can have on a patient’s life, it is often possible for victims of negligence to receive compensation for their damages.
Patients who suppose that they are victims of improper treatment should not delay seeking assistance from a highly-competent medical malpractice lawyer, who may be able to help determine if they have a case to pursue as well as decide the best legal pursuit to seek.