Traumatic injury, including falls, traffic collisions and incidents on the job, as well as infection and other trauma can lead to the devastating reality of limb loss. Amputation may be necessary to stop an infection or to save the patient from future harm. In a recent case, a CBS correspondent was forced to have his left arm amputated after a minor injury endangered his life. His injuries shed light on the trauma of amputation as well as the reality that even minor injuries can have catastrophic results.
According to the Amputee Coalition, there are nearly 2 million Americans living with limb loss. There are 185,000 amputations performed every year in the United States. Victims of amputation suffer both the physical consequences of limb loss, including restricted mobility, but the emotional trauma and a reduction in overall quality of life. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of amputation victims. We understand the long-term consequences faced by our clients. In addition to protecting the interests of our clients, we are committed to raising awareness to prevent catastrophic injury, including loss of limb.
According to news reports, PBS correspondent Miles O’Brien published a blog post which detailed the injury he sustained while on assignment in Asia. He also provided a detailed account of the medical emergency that followed, resulting in his choice of life or limb. According to reports, O’Brien was securing camera gear as their team was concluding a trip in Japan and the Philippines. Unexpectedly, one of the cases and carts fell onto his left arm. The injury was painful, but he never expected that it would turn into a life-altering injury.
When he awoke the next day, his arm was swollen and had worsened. Finally, on the third day, he sought medical treatment. His pain continued to become more severe and eventually he lost feeling in his limb. O’Brien was diagnosed with “acute compartment syndrome,” a life-threatening condition that blocks the blood flow in an enclosed space in the body. A doctor suggested an emergency procedure to relieve pressure. During the surgery, he lost blood pressure due to complications and suffered other injury. Doctors gave him a choice: face amputation or possibly lose his life.
The case reflects many instances where severe trauma to a limb forces patients into surgical amputation to prevent future infection and bodily harm. For individuals who have suffered even an apparently minor injury in an accident, long-term consequences may still result. Despite what may appear to be a minor injury, victims may endure long-term complications that could require surgery or in the worse cases, amputation. When you suffer an injury in an accident, it is important to consult with an experienced medical expert and a legal advocate who can protect your long-term rights. It is important not to settle your case or sign a waiver until you understand the full impact of your injuries.
Despite the severe personal and medical impact of an amputation, O’Brien continued to work in Asia even after the emergency. He is a reporter for the documentary series, “Frontline” and the National Science Foundation online magazine.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Florida School Liability for Child Injuries, Jan. 26, 2014, Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer Blog
Florida’s Fight for Booster Seat Laws, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 28, 2013