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Question
Posted by: karin | 2010/02/22

Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Hi there

This may seem morbid, however both my mom and I are curious about this. Just over two weeks ago, my dad died just 24 hours after having his right foot amputated due to a septic infection.

He had the amputation done under epidural anaesthetic. My mom had to sign the consent form for the operation. She regrets giving consent.

What would have happened if they didn''t operate/amputate the foot? My understanding is, that he would have died a horrific painful death from the infection.

I have tried googling for answers and don''t know where else to turn.

There is also confusion amongst my family, as to when my dad actually died. How long after someone dies does their tongue go white?

Thank you
Regards
Karin

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Karin
If your dad had a septic infection, the most probable cause of death is septiceamia (sepsis spread by the blood to all the organs) He could have developed this whether they operated or not, and the risk when not operating would have been greater. You are right, the foot may have developed gangrene and spread up the leg if they left it. Your tongue going white is not an indication of death - this can happen when you are very anemic or your blood pressure is very low. Death is usually diagnosed when there is no more breathing and heart/brain activity.
Please tell your mom not to blame herself, under the circumstances, with the information she had, she made the best decision she could have.
Dr Bets

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Our users say:
Posted by: cyberdoc | 2010/02/23

Hallo Karin
If your dad had a septic infection, the most probable cause of death is septiceamia (sepsis spread by the blood to all the organs) He could have developed this whether they operated or not, and the risk when not operating would have been greater. You are right, the foot may have developed gangrene and spread up the leg if they left it. Your tongue going white is not an indication of death - this can happen when you are very anemic or your blood pressure is very low. Death is usually diagnosed when there is no more breathing and heart/brain activity.
Please tell your mom not to blame herself, under the circumstances, with the information she had, she made the best decision she could have.
Dr Bets

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