Compartment syndrome is an excess of pressure in your muscles that can cut off circulation and cause serious muscle damage. Doctors should have the proper skill and training to catch compartment syndrome early and help treat it immediately to prevent further injury. Compartment syndrome that goes more than 6 hours runs the risk of causing permanent tissue damage, and compartment syndrome that lasts longer could even require amputation.
If your doctor failed to catch your compartment syndrome early enough, you may face terrible consequences. In many of these cases, your doctor’s failure to diagnose you constitutes medical malpractice, and you could be entitled to sue them in court to seek substantial damages for your injuries. For help with your case, contact the Arlington, TX attorneys for failure to diagnose compartment syndrome at The Queenan Law Firm. Call (817) 719-8082 today to set up a free legal consultation with our attorneys.
Risks of Undiagnosed Acute Compartment Syndrome (ACS)
The muscles in your arms and legs are separated into “compartments,” kept apart by a lining of tissue called a fascia. These compartments of muscle groups get blood and fluid independently, and each one has its own pressure. If the pressure in a compartment gets too high, the muscle compartment can swell, causing you severe pain and cutting off circulation to those muscle groups. Compartment syndrome is known as acute compartment syndrome (ACS) if it comes on fast and strong, potentially causing severe, permanent injuries within hours of the first signs of compartment syndrome.
This syndrome is most common after severe broken bones and other trauma to the muscles in your arms and legs, but it can also develop in your glutes. Doctors should be properly trained to catch the early warning signs of compartment syndrome, including pain and swelling. Some simple tests that a doctor can run to help them tell if you have compartment syndrome involve flexing the muscles while you relax to see if the pain and pressure gets worse, or doctors can test the pressure in the muscle compartment.
If your doctor waits too long and fails to diagnose your compartment syndrome early enough, you could face severe injury. First, you will face intense pain in your muscle. This pain and suffering can be mitigated or avoided entirely with prompt medical treatment to open the compartment and release the pressure. Second, if the pressure continues to rise and cut off circulation to your muscles, you could face tissue death and permanent muscle damage if your body cannot get blood to the affected muscle compartment. This could result in permanent loss of muscle tissue and may even require amputation if the damage is widespread and painful.
One of the most important factors in treating compartment syndrome is speed. Muscle tissue may start to face damage after 6 hours, and after 8 hours, tissue death is almost unavoidable. If your doctor does not catch the early signs and symptoms, their care might be considered inadequate and you may be able to sue the for malpractice.
Suing for Compartment Syndrome Medical Malpractice
Victims of medical malpractice may be able to seek compensation for the harms they faced due to negligent healthcare. To receive compensation, you must first prove that the injuries you faced occurred because your doctor’s care fell below the applicable standard of care in your case. Your lawyer can hire a medical expert to testify to what symptoms your doctor should have caught and why they should have investigated further to rule out compartment syndrome. If your doctor waited until there were more obvious signs like pale skin or lack of a pulse in the affected area, your medical expert may be able to argue that that was already too late and that your doctor was negligent.
If you can prove the doctor that treated you was indeed negligent, you can file a lawsuit to seek damages for any harms you faced because of the negligence. The most common symptom you will face is pain and suffering. If your doctor should have relieved the pressure earlier, you may have faced hours of pain and suffering that could have been avoided. Moreover, if the delay in diagnosis caused permanent injuries, all of the pain and suffering associated with those additional injuries should have been avoided as well and can justify damages.
In addition, you can sue for any additional healthcare and lost wages resulting from your negligent care. This means that if you lost a limb or suffered severe tissue damage, you can sue for the cost of any healthcare to treat your injury or disability, including the cost of physical therapy and rehabilitation. If your injury made it difficult to work or required you to take a lower-paying position, you may be entitled to the lost wages and earning capacity the injury caused you.
Talk to a lawyer about how to file your claim and how much your case might be worth. Your doctor will likely be represented by a medical malpractice insurance company and a legal team who do not represent your interests. It is important to have your own lawyer in your corner to represent you and help protect your claim.
Call Our Arlington Attorneys for Delayed Diagnosis of Acute Compartment Syndrome
If you or a loved one suffered additional injuries, surgeries, or amputation from compartment syndrome after a delay in diagnosis or failure to diagnose compartment syndrome, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your doctor. To schedule a free legal consultation and learn more about filing your claim, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Arlington failure to diagnose compartment syndrome attorneys are available at (817) 719-8082 to schedule a free legal consultation today.