Amputation Caused by Clinical Negligence
When mistakes made by medical professionals result in an amputation, Potter Rees Dolan’s expert team of Manchester-based clinical negligence solicitors are here to help.
We can’t begin to imagine how hard it must be for you in this situation, and we have seen first-hand the impact amputation has on individuals and their families.
You can rely on our clinical negligence solicitors to fight for the compensation you deserve and need - and we know just how important a successful claim can be. It can help you regain your independence by funding the necessary adaptations to your home and the care you need, paying for expensive rehabilitation and helping you to purchase cutting-edge prostheses that will improve your quality of life.
Our highly-regarded clinical negligence team is led by Helen Dolan, Lesley Herbertson, Gill Edwards and Helen Budge, all of whom feature in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers 2018 guides. One of our guiding principles is to personalise our service for every single person we work with, meaning we will always put your needs first.
We are here for you and we’re ready to help you get the support you need. Call us today on 0800 027 2557; alternatively, you can fill in the contact form, and a solicitor will get back to you at a convenient time.
What is amputation?
An amputation is the surgical removal of a part of the body. This can either be a limb - such as a leg or an arm, but can also include digits such as fingers and toes
What causes amputation?
In almost all cases, surgeons will only ever amputate as a last resort. Some common reasons for amputation include:
- major trauma to a limb, including crush and blast wounds
- severe infection of a limb
- deformation of a limb that has limited movement and function
- blockage of blood flow to a limb, often as a result of peripheral arterial disease. This can result in gangrene, compartment syndrome or other conditions
What are the signs that clinical negligence led to an amputation?
You may have been a victim of clinical negligence if
- delayed diagnosis of compartment syndrome
- contracting infections during your hospital stay, which results in the need to amputate
- failing to diagnose circulatory issues such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- pressure sores or other wounds that may have been incorrectly managed
- poor management of peripheral vascular disease
- uncontrolled or badly managed diabetes
- failure to monitor arterial lines, leading to blockage, loss of blood supply and ischaemia
About Potter Rees Dolan
Potter Rees Dolan’s clinical negligence team has earned a reputation as one of the very best in the UK. Boasting a combined experience in serious injury law of over 60 years and comprehensive medical insight, the team has an unwavering dedication to helping families recover the compensation they deserve.
About Helen Dolan, head of the department, Chambers 2019 says: “Helen regularly handles complex claims, such as those related to psychiatric care. She has further expertise in spinal injury, surgical negligence and cerebral palsy claims, as well as breach of duty cases. One source states: 'Her attention to detail and knowledge of the case inside and out was exemplary.”
The same publication said Lesley Herbertson “is very good on the complex details of the case and is able to translate this to clients”.
Meanwhile, Gill Edwards is described as being “incredibly good with clients - they really warm to her - and very good on the medical details”. Client feedback quoted by Chambers stated: “The way that she helped me is amazing. She is fantastic."
Additionally, Chambers 2019 calls our clinical negligence team as a whole a “well-regarded team with an impressive caseload of complex clinical negligence work” and says that sources highlight the “really nice, bespoke, high-quality" service we offer.
Our clients regularly tell us that it is the empathy and care with which we act that sets us apart. We specialise in serious and catastrophic injuries, so we know how difficult it can be to live with severe disability and how to put the support in place to improve things for you. It is our aim to make the claims process as stress-free for you and your family as we can.
Most clinical negligence cases are funded on the basis of a “no win, no fee” agreement, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. We can investigate your potential claim and you will not have to pay us a penny if your case is not successful. We will explain how a Conditional Fee Agreement works at our very first meeting.
You may already have a legal expense insurance policy. In the first instance, we’ll always start by investigating whether you can use the same policy for your case, before considering whether a Conditional Fee Agreement may be more appropriate.
What happens next?
First, we will discuss your circumstances in detail and help you understand whether or not you have a case. If you do, we will assist you in gathering all of the necessary evidence to build a strong case, giving you the best chance of recovering the right amount of compensation.
Your medical records are our first port of call - we will obtain and go through them with you in depth.
We will then instruct independent experts to advise on whether or not you or your family member has received substandard treatment and whether this caused your injury. Once we have positive expert evidence in support of your claim, we will put the allegations to the defendant so they can respond. If the defendant is not willing to negotiate reasonably, then we will start court proceedings. The claim will be progressed as quickly as possible, while always exploring opportunities to adequately settle the case before court proceedings or trial if we can.
Where feasible, we also work towards obtaining early interim payment awards, ie payments of compensation while your case is ongoing. For those who have suffered amputation, interim payments are particularly useful for funding rehabilitation, prosthetics and improving access in your home.
Related Case Studies
70 year old Mary had an ulcer on the back of her leg which, for years, was regularly dressed by a nurse at her local Health Centre.
Read Case Study »
Janet was originally diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) was then told she has compartment syndrome. She then endured an above knee amputation and has received over £1 million in compensation
Read Case Study »
Mark was 23 when he was involved in a motor cross accident in 2009 suffering an injury to his right arm
Read Case Study »
Contact Potter Rees Dolan today
Our sensitive and caring Manchester based team are ready to help you get the support you need. Please don’t delay - give us a call on 0800 027 2557.
If you’d like one of our solicitors to call you back, fill out the form on the side of the page or visit our contact page. If there is someone specific at the firm you would like to speak to, visit their profile on our people page.
What are the complications of amputations?
As with any kind of surgery, amputations carry a risk. Complicating factors include age, your general health and the nature of the surgery itself. Issues that can arise following the loss of a limb include:
- Stump and phantom limb pain
How do amputations affect a person’s life?
Amputations can turn your whole life upside down. As well as coming to terms with the loss of a limb, you will probably need to make significant alterations to your day-to-day life - you may have to change jobs, or perhaps you won’t be able to work at all. You could also face considerable financial costs when undertaking rehabilitation and sourcing prostheses to suit you.
Factors you may have to consider include:
- The need for carers to assist with day-to-day tasks
- Sourcing a prosthesis to aid mobility and improve your quality of life
- Making changes to your home to improve accessibility
- Undergoing rehabilitation to strengthen muscle and tissue in the surrounding area
- Relearning how to perform routine jobs and activities
Chronic kidney disease
This long-term condition results in kidneys not functioning correctly or working effectively.
Symptoms of chronic kidney disease are not usually noticeable until later stages but it is usually detected at the early stages with blood and urine tests. Many symptoms of advanced kidney disease include:
- swollen ankles, feet or hands (due to water retention)
- shortness of breath
- blood in the urine
The kidneys' function is to filter the waste products from the blood before converting into urine. Our kidneys also help maintain blood pressure and the levels of chemicals in your body which help the heart function properly.
Chronic kidney disease is more likely to form the older you get and there is no cure. However, treatment can slow the progression of the disease.If the kidneys are damaged with diabetes or high blood pressure for example, then chronic kidney disease can develop.
Those with chronic kidney disease are more likely to have a heart attack due to the changes that occur in the blood circulation.
This is a painful, and potentially serious condition, where an enclosed body space (such as a bundle of muscles or tissue) swells and so pressure increases.
Pressure builds within the compartment which affects the function of the muscle and tissue.
There is then a lack of oxygenated blood to the area which can cause the tissue to die. If left untreated, then it could result in a loss of a limb.
Read about our client who was wrongly diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis when in fact she had compartment syndrome. She was diagnosed too late which resulted in an above knee amputation.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
This is a blood clot in one of the deep veins in the body, usually in the large vein in the leg.
The blood clot can cause pain and swelling in the leg and can lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism.
Anyone can develop deep vein thrombosis but those with a family history, who are overweight or with other medical conditions such as cancer can be more at risk.
Another common cause of DVT is after undergoing an operation and it's estimated that 25,000 people who are admitted to hospital die from preventable blood clots each year.
This is because if you are unwell or inactive, or less active than you usually are, blood tends to collect in the lower parts of your body due to your lack of movement.
Treatment usually involved taking blood thinning medication to help reduce the blood's ability to clot.
Read about our client who was diagnosed with DVT but then developed compartment syndrome which resulted in her having an above knee amputation the same day.