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What should I know if I suffer an amputation in a car crash?

Many gruesome injuries can occur during a car crash. One possibility is a limb or digit being amputated. These amputations can lead to serious life effects that are difficult to overcome.

An amputation is one of the injuries that is easily seen at the scene of a motor vehicle crash. Immediate medical care is necessary after an amputation because of the risks associated with the injury.

Types of amputations

There are two types of amputations that might occur in a car crash -- partial and complete. A partial amputation still has some tissues attached at the injury. A complete amputation doesn't have any tissues still attached. Hands, feet, legs, arms, fingers, toes, ears and almost any other body part can be amputated.

Risks of having a body part amputated

The primary risks associated with having a body part amputated are bleeding and infection. The primary concern of the emergency medical team that responds to the crash is controlling the bleeding. This takes precedence over saving the limb. Because there is a risk of the area retaining debris in the tissues, there is a chance that an infection will occur. Keeping the severed area clean and as sterile as possible is another concern for emergency responders.

Care for the injury

A severed body part can sometimes be surgically reattached. Interestingly, the chance for reattachment is higher when the injury is a complete amputation rather than an incomplete amputation. Whether surgical reattachment is possible or not, the area must go through a thorough cleaning to get out any foreign matter. If reattachment isn't possible, the area is closed up after blood vessels are closed. In almost all cases, the person with an amputated limb will need antibiotics and pain relieving medication.

Lifestyle changes

After the amputation, the victim will face considerable pain. If the body part wasn't able to be reattached, the person might suffer from phantom pain. This occurs when they feel pains in the place where the body part would have been. This is a maddening condition because you can't do anything about it. Whether the body part can be attached or not, the person will likely undergo physical and occupational therapy to strengthen the area and learn how to function again.

Compensation claims

It might be possible to seek compensation for these injuries. The accident must have been due to another driver's reckless driving or negligence. You would file a civil lawsuit for the damages associated with the accident. The damages might include medical bills and life care expenses.

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