Making a Compartment syndrome compensation claim
Compartment syndrome is caused by swelling or bleeding within an enclosed bundle of muscles, and can be a potentially serious condition if left untreated.
Groups of muscles in the arms and legs, along with blood vessels and nerves, are contained in a space surrounded by tissue called fascia. When the pressure in the compartment increases, it restricts the blood flow to that area, which can damage the muscles and nerves.
Compartment syndrome usually occurs in the feet, arms, legs, or hands, but it is possible for the condition to occur anywhere there’s an enclosed compartment in the body.
There are two types of compartment syndrome:
Acute Compartment Syndrome
This type occurs suddenly, usually after a severe injury such as a fracture. It must be treated as a medical emergency. If this condition is not treated, it can lead to permanent muscle damage.
Chronic Compartment Syndrome
This type happens more gradually and usually occurs during and immediately after repetitive exercise. The pain will usually pass within a few minutes of stopping the activity. Chronic Compartment Syndrome is not a medical emergency and cannot lead to permanent damage.
Symptoms of acute compartment syndrome are:
- Tenderness in the area;
- Tightness in the muscle;
- Sharp pain in the muscle, especially when stretched;
- A burning or tingling sensation; and
- In more serious cases, weakness, or numbness in the area (If this occurs, it is a sign of permanent damage)
If you are showing any symptoms of acute compartment syndrome, it is important to be checked out at your closest A&E as soon as possible. This type of injury needs to be treated quickly to decrease the risk of permeant damage.
Causes of acute compartment syndrome include:
- A crush or broken bone injury;
- A plaster cast or bandage being applied before the limb has stopped swelling;
- Burns to the skin which causes the skin to become tight; and
- Repair a damaged or blocked blood vessel following surgery.
Acute compartment syndrome must be treated by a surgical procedure called a fasciotomy. The surgeon makes an incision into the fascia around the muscle, which will immediately relieve the pressure inside the muscle compartment.
The failure to diagnose compartment syndrome can be classed as medical negligence and can lead to life changing injuries, including amputation.
See Blackwell’s medical negligence team have experience in dealing with compartment syndrome compensation cases and are able to work on a no win, no fee basis.
For a free case assessment of your compartment syndrome compensation claim call our free legal helpline on 0808 139 1606 or send a brief details of your case to us by email at [email protected]