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New Mexico Nursing Home Amputation Lawyers

Legal Representation After the Loss of a Limb

Amputation is the surgical removal of a limb or extremity. Body parts that may be amputated due to infection or disease include the legs, feet, arms, hands, toes, and fingers. Most amputations result from peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation) or complications of diabetes. They can also develop from bedsores Nursing home neglect can place elderly residents suffering from these conditions at risk for amputation and loss of a limb.

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Causes of Amputation in Nursing Homes

Amputations among nursing home residents can become necessary after complications develop with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, bedsores, and infections.

Diabetes and Amputations In New Mexico Nursing Homes

Complications of diabetes may include poor circulation and nerve damage. These conditions make the feet more vulnerable to skin ulcers that can rapidly worsen. When foot ulcers develop, it is crucial to get prompt medical care. More than 80% of amputations begin with foot ulcers, as reported by the Mayo Clinic. Nonhealing ulcers can cause severe damage to tissues and bone and may require amputation of a toe, a foot, or part of the leg.

To prevent foot ulcers and amputation, nursing home residents with diabetes need careful management of the condition, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, blood sugar monitoring, and a prescribed medication regimen. They also need proper foot care, which includes daily inspections of the feet for any cuts, cracks, sores, blisters, redness, tenderness, or swelling. When nursing home staff fail to provide proper care, amputations can result.

Bedsores and Amputations In Nursing Home Residents

Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers. They are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. They often develop on skin that covers bony areas of the body. Bedsores can develop quickly, and some never heal completely. Older nursing home residents with limited mobility or confined to bed are particularly susceptible to pressure sores on the:

  • Heels
  • Ankles
  • Behind the knees
  • Tailbone
  • Shoulder blades
  • Back or sides of the head

Pressure sores should never be allowed to develop in nursing home patients in the first place. When they do develop, they need immediate attention to help prevent infection. Bedsores that become infected in older adults can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition. When infected bedsores are not responding to antibiotics and infection is spreading quickly, amputation may be necessary to prevent further complications.

Nursing home caregivers could prevent many bedsores and amputations by taking proper care to move patients around to alleviate pressure throughout the day. When pressure sores have developed, proper inspections to detect them and immediate treatment could prevent them from worsening and developing into a serious medical condition that may involve the loss of a limb.

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Types of Amputations In the Elderly

Amputation of the lower extremities is the most common type in older people. Nursing home residents with diabetes have a higher risk of amputation. The following are types of amputation procedures commonly performed on older adults:

  • Transfemoral amputation: This above-the-knee amputation procedure may be the most common among the elderly. Patients who have undergone this procedure experience additional stress on the cardiovascular system due to the strength required to move a wheelchair with the upper arms.
  • Transtibial amputation: The amputation is performed near the middle of the upper tibia (shinbone), to save the knee, if possible. Exercise and rehabilitation are more difficult after amputation if the knee has been lost.
  • Partial hand amputation: This involves the amputation of a thumb or a finger. Thumb amputation, common in senior citizens, can affect the ability to grasp and hold items and to perform daily activities.

If nursing home neglect has led to amputation in your elderly loved one, call Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP at (903) 212-2822. Our New Mexico nursing home abuse attorneys will fight for the compensation you and your loved one deserve.

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Additional Information

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