Compartment syndrome is a common effect to the parts of the body when nerves are compressed and blood vessels cannot deliver oxygen to the muscle tissue inside an enclosed space (compartment) in the body, resulting in the death of the tissue in the affected region. The hand, forearm, legs and feet are often affected by compartment syndrome after lengthy surgical procedures during which the blood flow is restricted to a particular area.
Medical professionals assign the symptoms of compartment syndrome into various degrees, according to the severity of the common symptoms, which include:
- Pain: Typically severe, constant and generalized pain in the region of the tissue death
- Prickly sensation throughout the affected region: Referred to medically as paresthesia
- Paralysis: The affected limb doesn’t become paralyzed immediately, but often becomes paralyzed as a result of the dead muscle tissue.
- Pulse: Because the affected compartment is cut off from the blood flow by the compressed nerves, the pulse in the area becomes non-detectable.
- Swelling: The skin in the affected region becomes hard and dry, due to lack of blood flow supplying oxygen to keep the cells alive.
Compartment syndrome may be the result of unnecessarily prolonged compression of nerves in a particular area of the body during surgery. Since 2001, the American Medical Association has listed compartment syndrome as a possible complication of surgery lasting more than six hours in which a portion of the body is under particular compression. If you or a loved one has suffered compartment syndrome following a medical procedure in Oregon or southwestern Washington, talk to a medical malpractice attorney at Miller & Wagner, LLP, in Portland right away.
Common Complications With Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome can affect children, adults and the elderly, and it can cause permanent damage if it is not properly treated. Untreated compartment syndrome can result from:
- Overly tight bandaging
- Knee dislocations and follow-up treatment
- Prolonged compression
- Broken bones
Compartment syndrome can also involve serious issues such as needing to amputate a limb, significant nerve damage, drop foot (the inability to lift the front part of the foot) and even death.
Why Work With Miller & Wagner, LLP?
Our attorneys work with medical specialists who are highly qualified to review and comment on surgical procedures and practices to avoid compartment syndrome. As your attorneys, we apply this expert support to maximum effect for proving liability and documenting your damages.
From our offices in Portland, our medical malpractice trial attorneys represent plaintiffs in medical negligence claims against physicians and health care providers throughout Oregon and Washington. For your convenience, we have a satellite office in Pacific City.