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An amputation may be necessary after a motor vehicle crash

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

It may take your brain a minute to realize that the sound of crunching metal and the violent motion of your vehicle mean you were just in an accident. Once your vehicle comes to rest, your instincts tell you to get out as quickly as possible, but when you try to move, the pain sets in.

Whether one or more of your limbs are pinned or they took a severe impact during the crash, there is no way you are getting out of your vehicle on your own. After emergency responders arrive and get you to the hospital, you may then realize that something is seriously wrong. Doctors may tell you that you need an amputation in order to save your life.

What happens now?

You will need to undergo surgery in order to get rid of all the damaged tissue. The question is determining where the damaged tissue ends and the healthy tissue begins. The surgeon answers this question through one or more of the following methods:

  • The surgeon compares the temperature of the healthy part of the limb with the damaged part.
  • Doctors will check to see where on the affected limb you still have sensation, which could indicate healthy tissue.
  • The surgeon will feel for a pulse near where the amputation needs to occur.
  • The surgeon looks for areas on the limb where there the skin is reddened.

Once determining where to make the cut, the surgeon then performs the amputation, which involves the following steps:

  • First, he or she removes the crushed bone and tissues at the amputation site.
  • The surgeon then smooths the areas of bone that are uneven.
  • The next step is to seal off the nerves and blood vessels.
  • Finally, the surgeon will shape and cut the muscles so the end of the limb, or stump, is ready for a prosthesis.

Whether the surgeon closes the wound depends on a variety of factors. You will more than likely remain in the hospital for a minimum of five days as your doctors monitor you to make sure you do not suffer from an infection or any other complications. The hope is that everything goes well and you can leave the hospital. However, that is far from the end of your road. You will need to be fitted for prosthesis, go through rehabilitation and work to adjust to your new circumstances.

What happens next?

If your injury resulted from the negligence or recklessness of another person, you have the opportunity to file a personal injury claim in a New Orleans civil court to pursue the compensation you need and deserve. Medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages and losses will only add more stress to your life, which you certainly don’t need at this time.

Unfortunately, the process itself can also cause a significant amount of stress, frustration and anxiety. Fortunately, you can enlist the advice and assistance of an experienced attorney to help you through this challenging time in your life.