Loss of limb during the holidays: Causes, preventive tips, and more

The holidays are generally associated with family, friends, parades, football, and great food, but sometimes this great holiday can turn into a nightmare due to an accident such as one that requires a trip to the emergency room, or one that results in the loss of a limb. 

common holiday injuries

If this happened to you, and you suspect your injury was caused by someone’s negligent behavior, talk to a Georgia catastrophic injury attorney with Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson, LLC as soon as you can. We may be able to help you obtain compensation to offset the financial burden caused by your accident. 

Contact us online or call one of our offices to schedule a free consultation. You can reach our Atlanta office by calling (404) 891-9150, or our Savannah office by calling (912) 867-9140. 

Prevalence of limb loss during the holidays

Unfortunately, people suffer the loss of a limb far too often. It’s estimated that doctors perform about 185,000 amputations in the U.S. each year, and approximately 507 people per day lose a limb. It’s also estimated that nearly 3.6 million people will have to live with some sort of limb loss by the year 2050. Trauma is one of the most common causes of limb loss, accounting for about 45% of amputations.

Just about any kind of accident can result in an injury so severe that it can require amputation. Researchers with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI conducted a study of amputations that were performed at the facility over a six-year period (2010-2015).

During this time, an average of 24 patients required amputations each year. Of those that occurred during winter, 90.9% were due to injuries associated with using snow blowers. 

How limb loss accidents can occur around the holidays

There are many other causes of limb loss around the holidays that don’t involve snow blowers. Some of the common causes of these catastrophic injuries include:

  • Kitchen accidents involving knives, appliances, and garbage disposals
  • Chainsaw and ax-related accidents from cutting firewood or cutting down a tree
  • Accidents such as falling off a roof or getting tangled in lights or holiday decor, especially when hanging them on the roof
  • Fires caused in the kitchen, by deep fryer, or fires caused by lights or other decor items
  • Car accidents, many which involve persons who made the poor decision of driving under the influence

Preventive tips 

Thankfully, there are many tips that can help you avoid catastrophic injuries that could potentially result in the loss of a limb this holiday season. 

Holiday decoration fires

  • Be careful about overloading your circuits when plugging in decorations. 
  •  If you’re using candles, keep them away from drapes or other flammable items. Never leave a lit candle in an unattended room, especially if you have pets.
  • If you’re using a live tree, keep it watered. If you’re buying an artificial tree, look for one made of fire-resistant material.

Injuries from cutting

  • Take your time when preparing your holiday meal. Pay special attention to what you’re doing and take your time because if you’re in a rush or are distracted, the knife could easily slip.  
  • Wear proper safety gear and pay attention to what you’re doing when cutting firewood or cutting down trees. Always do these tasks with a buddy who can help ensure you’re being safe and that you can get prompt medical attention should something go awry.

Car accidents

  • If you plan on drinking during any holiday celebrations, align a designated driver, a rideshare or taxi, or stay at or close to the location where you’re drinking.
  • The number of accidents increases during the holidays, so minimize the amount of time you spend on the road, if possible, especially during poor weather conditions and late at night. 

Steps to take if you or a loved one is injured

Immediately call 911 to get medical assistance if someone has been severely injured. Calmly and clearly relay the information to the dispatcher and follow their directions. For example, they might ask you to apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth until emergency personnel arrive.

If someone receives a less severe cut or injury, clean it well with mild soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment or cream, and cover it with an appropriate bandage. Don’t be afraid of seeking medical care if you fear the injury is worse or if you’re afraid that it is infected–an untreated infection can result in a medically necessary amputation.

We’re ready to help you

Hopefully everyone in your household will avoid any injuries this holiday season, especially ones that result in an amputation. However, if someone does get hurt and the injury wasn’t their fault, the law firm of Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson, LLC will be ready to fight for your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. 

If you would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our Georgia catastrophic injury attorneys, please contact us online or give us a call at (404) 891-9150 (Atlanta) or (912) 867-9140 (Savannah).