Even though today’s motor vehicles have hundreds of safety features, car accident injuries remain alarming common in the U.S. In fact, as many as 4.4 million Americans suffer injuries in car accidents every year. While many injuries are minor, others leave accident victims with forever changed lives.
An amputation falls into the latter category, as it results in the loss of a limb. Here are three ways car accidents may end in amputation.
1. Traumatic injuries
Seat belts and airbags decrease injury risk. Still, in a high-speed collision, twisted metal or other accident debris may amputate a driver’s or passenger’s limb. In these catastrophic cases, blood loss is a real concern for emergency responders.
2. Surgical intervention
A car accident may not amputate a person’s arms or legs. Still, if the individual sustains extensive limb damage during a collision, doctors may have little choice but to amputate. This may be especially true if the crash causes nerve or circulatory system damage.
3. Infection mitigation
Even if doctors manage to save an accident victim’s limbs initially, an infection may spread rapidly. If doctors worry about gangrene, sepsis or septic shock, they may recommend limb amputation. That is, sometimes amputating a limb is the only way to stop an infection from causing serious complications or death.
Regardless of how it happens, an amputation is likely to require extensive medical care and rehabilitation. While these can be almost unbelievably expensive, an accident victim ultimately may be able to pursue financial compensation from the driver who caused the crash.