Ischaemia & PAD

When does PAD lead to amputation?

People with peripheral arterial disease are usually offered amputation in the event of what is commonly described “unreconstructable’ critical limb ischaemia (‘CLI’). Leg pain while walking and that is frequently intolerable can be common with CLI. Intense discomfort from CLI can last from minutes to hours, and often happens at night. Amputation can become the only option when ischaemic rest pain and/or tissue loss following ulceration or gangrene or some other form of associated infection can no longer be controlled by medical treatment and treating clinicians have deemed that the blood supply to the leg cannot be restored by surgery. In a minority of people, amputation has to be undertaken as emergency, usually because of fast spreading infection.


The avoidance of amputation inevitably depends crucially upon prompt diagnosis of PAD and referral to a specialist vascular unit that is able to offer the full range of available investigation and treatment. Preventing the development of advance PAD thereafter, of which CLI is the most extreme form, requires skill and care.

How we can help

Our team of specialist amputation lawyers are here to help if you or your loved one has been affected by amputation because of ischaemia or PAD leading to CLI. We can help you get the answers you need if you think that something might have gone wrong.

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Frequently Asked Questions

PAD stands for Peripheral Arterial Disease, which is a condition in which the arteries in the legs and feet become narrowed or blocked by plaque buildup, reducing blood flow to the affected areas. PAD is a common circulatory problem that affects millions of people, especially those over the age of 50.

The buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet is often caused by atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty deposits (plaque) accumulate on the inner walls of the arteries, narrowing and hardening them over time. The reduced blood flow to the legs and feet can cause pain, numbness, and other symptoms, and can also increase the risk of infections and slow wound healing.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common cause of ischemia in the legs and feet. PAD occurs when there is a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet, resulting in a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels. This can lead to reduced blood flow and oxygen supply to the affected areas, causing ischemia.

If left untreated, PAD can lead to severe complications such as gangrene, tissue death, and amputation. It is essential to diagnose and treat PAD as early as possible to prevent the progression of the disease.

A person who has undergone a PAD amputation due to medical negligence or malpractice may be able to make a compensation claim. If the amputation was the result of a medical professional’s failure to provide appropriate care, such as a delayed or missed diagnosis, failure to provide adequate treatment, or surgical errors, then the patient may be entitled to claim compensation for their losses.

Some common examples of medical negligence that can lead to a PAD amputation claim include:

  1. Failure to diagnose and treat PAD: If a doctor fails to recognize or adequately treat PAD in a timely manner, and as a result, the patient requires an amputation, they may be held liable for any resulting losses.

  2. Surgical errors: If a surgeon makes an error during a PAD amputation procedure that results in further complications, the patient may be able to claim compensation for their losses.

  3. Delayed or incorrect treatment: If a patient’s PAD was not properly diagnosed or treated in a timely manner, and as a result, they needed an amputation, they may have a valid compensation claim.

Whether or not a PAD compensation claim goes to court depends on the specific circumstances of the case. In many cases, PAD claims can be resolved through negotiation or mediation without the need for a court hearing. However, if the parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, the case may proceed to court.

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