Compartment syndrome, often diagnosed as acute compartment syndrome (ACS), is a medical problem where a compartment of muscles in the extremities has too much pressure in it. This increased pressure can cause serious injuries if left untreated, with compartment syndrome often causing permanent damage after 6 hours of non-treatment.
If your doctor examines you and fails to diagnose your compartment syndrome, you may be entitled to sue the for failure to diagnose. The injuries and negative results of failing to diagnose compartment syndrome early can be permanent and can cause physical disabilities and problems using the affected limb. If your doctor failed to diagnose your compartment syndrome, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Our Miami attorney for failure to diagnose compartment syndrome is available to set up a free legal consultation to help you with your case. Our number is (305) 694-2676.
Compartment Syndrome Diagnosis and Medical Malpractice
The muscles in your arms and legs are divided into different muscle groups separated by tissue called fascia. These different “compartments” of muscles each get blood and other fluids flowing through them and typically maintain normal pressure levels. If any one compartment’s pressure becomes too high, blood circulation can be cut off, and the tissue may begin to suffer damage or die because of the lack of blood flow. This known as compartment syndrome, and it happens most commonly because of a broken bone or other traumatic injury to the arm or leg. However, compartment syndrome can also happen with more minor injuries or other conditions as well.
Doctors usually catch compartment syndrome by looking for signs of increased swelling and pain when the doctor flexes the affected muscle group. Your doctor can also use gauges and tools to find the pressure in your muscle compartment, and if the pressure is too high, they should investigate further for compartment syndrome.
If your doctor waits too long, more obvious signs of compartment syndrome or ACS might appear, such as the lack of a pulse near the compartment and paleness or pallor in the skin. However, once those symptoms start to appear, the patient has typically already had compartment syndrome for long enough that tissue damage might start setting in.
It is absolutely vital to your care that your doctor catch your compartment syndrome early and begin immediate treatment. Some procedures used to treat compartment syndrome involve cutting into the compartment to relieve pressure, and these procedures can be performed with local anesthetic at the bedside if necessary. Still, if your doctor waits too long to perform this procedure, it may be too late to avoid damage.
If your doctor does fail to diagnose your compartment syndrome, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice to seek damages for the harms you faced.
Suing for Failure to Diagnose Acute Compartment Syndrome in Florida
Whenever your doctor provides you with medical treatment or care that falls below acceptable standards, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against them and seek financial compensation for any harms you suffered from their mistakes. A delay in diagnosis or a total failure to diagnose compartment syndrome can be catastrophic and may result in tissue death, permanent weakness, or perhaps even a need to amputate if the issue grows worse. Failing to swiftly diagnose compartment syndrome often justifies a medical malpractice lawsuit for the extreme harm it can cause.
To sue your doctor for a failure to diagnose, their mistake must fall short of the standard of care. A doctor should be able to find signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome that would trigger further investigation, but there are instances where diagnosing compartment syndrome may be difficult or impossible. Increased pressure and pain under a cast or after suffering a broken bone is a classic sign of compartment syndrome, and your doctor should investigate further. However, if you have multiple medical problems affecting the same area or your symptoms are masked by drugs or other disorders, it may be more difficult to catch the issue.
The question of whether your doctor should have diagnosed you earlier can be decided in court. You and your lawyer can present medical experts to testify that your doctor failed to provide you with reasonable, appropriate care, and that that contributed to your injuries. Your doctor’s lawyer will often refute that claim with their own experts, and the jury will decide which side is right.
If you win your case, you can seek damages for any harms the failure to diagnose caused you. This could include pain and suffering from the increased pressure and muscle damage, as well as other damages. Additional medical care needs that would have been avoided through quick treatment can be covered in a lawsuit, as can any effects the injury or disability has on your life. For instance, if the injuries from your compartment syndrome make it difficult to work or an amputation prevents you from working, you can sue your doctor for your lost wages and other negative effects on your life, such as the lost value of your household tasks.
Call Our Miami Failure to Diagnose Compartment Syndrome Attorney for a Free Case Consultation
Talk to an attorney about your case and how much it may be worth. It is often difficult to know if your care fell below the standard of care or not, and you should always talk to a medical malpractice attorney to learn more about whether you have a case and how much your claim might be worth. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA’s Miami lawyer for failure to diagnose compartment syndrome. Our number is (305) 694-2676.