Amputation Injury FAQs

What is an amputation?

An amputation is generally the loss of a finger, hand, arm, toe, foot, or leg. Victims of traumatic amputations are at risk of serious complications, such as bleeding, infection, shock, and/or death.

Traumatic amputations, is the severing of a portion or all of a body part due to an accident. This can be a life-threatening and life-changing event, which may cause a complete amputation, where a limb or appendage is completely severed from the body, or a partial amputation, where some soft tissue remains at the site. Amputations can also occur due to a catastrophic injury, disease, or infections that will not heal properly unless the affected area is surgically removed. A severe injury, such as a car accident or severe burn, can cause tissue death by destroying blood vessels and if the limb is not removed an infection can spread through the body and cause death.

If you have suffered a serious injury, such as an amputated limb or appendage, as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact the personal injury attorneys of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.

What can cause an amputation?

Many accidents can cause a traumatic amputation to occur such as:
  • Auto accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Defective products
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Fire, Explosion, and Electrocution Accidents
  • Industrial accidents
Amputations can result from improper machinery maintenance, faulty employee training, or unsafe working conditions.

Limbs and appendages can be severed by machinery such as:
  • Drill Presses
  • Conveyor belts
  • Guillotine shears
  • Meat grinders
  • Mechanical power presses
  • Metal-forming machines
  • Milling machines
  • Printing presses
What to do if someone has a limb or appendage injury?*

If someone experiences an injury that appears to result in a severed or partially severed limb or appendage, please seek medical attention at once. Assure the victim’s airway passage is clear and perform CPR if necessary. If possible, stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the injured area and elevating the injured part. Save any severed limb or appendage by wrapping it in a clean and damp cloth, putting it in a plastic bag, and then immersing the bag in cold or ice water. It is important to keep the part away from heat. Bring the part to the hospital to give to the medical professional who arrives at the scene. Make sure to stay with the injured victim until medical assistance arrives.


What emotional injuries can be caused by amputations?

Amputations can cause severe disability and loss in quality of living. They can cause emotional and psychological injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depressing, and grief can all be associated with the psychological injuries of amputations

Amputation Data & Statistics

In the United States, there are approximately 1.7 million people living with an amputations and that number grows by an estimated 135,000 new yearly amputations. The peak age for limb loss is 41-70 years old. 22% of amputations are trauma related and 68.6% of those are amputations of the upper limbs.

How to diagnose a traumatic amputation?*

Diagnosing a traumatic brain injury is simple if the limb or appendage is severed completely. However, if there is a partial amputation, it must be determined if any part of the affected limb or appendage can be saved. If an amputation occurs, the victim’s vital signs must be monitored very carefully to observe for any signs of shock.


What are the types of amputation?

Upper Limb Amputations:
  • Amputation of individual digits- When a victim loses any of their digits, their grasping ability is affected.
  • Multiple digit amputations- When more than one finger is lost, surgeons will attempt to construct muscles to assist with grasping.
  • Metacarpal amputation- loss of entire hand with wrist still intact; no ability to grasp
  • Wrist disarticulation- loss of the hand at the level of wrist joint
  • Forearm (transradial) amputation- classified by the length of the remaining partial forearm stump. The length affects the pronation ability, or the ability to move the forearm.
  • Elbow disarticulation- removal of entire forearm at elbow; victim will retain the ability to hold weight.
  • Above-elbow (transhumeral) amputation- amputation anywhere above the elbow and below the shoulder.
  • Shoulder disarticulation- the shoulder is removed, however the shoulder blade remains; the collarbone may or may not be removed
  • Forequarter amputation- removal of shoulder blade and collarbone
Lower Limb Amputations:
  • Foot Amputations- amputation of any part of foot such as mid-tarsal or toe amputation; may affect balance and walking.
  • Ankle disarticulation (Syme amputation) - amputation of entire ankle.
  • Below-knee (transtibial) amputation- amputation above the ankle but below the knee; victim may have difficulty putting weight on limb.
  • Knee-bearing amputation- complete removal of the lower leg.
  • Above-knee (transfemoral) amputation- amputation at thigh.
  • Hip disarticulation- removing the entire leg bone.
If you have suffered a serious injury, such as an amputated limb or appendage, as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact the personal injury attorneys of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.

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