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Failure to Diagnose Compartment Syndrome

Attorneys Assisting Clients in Baltimore

People involved in accidents often sustain fractures that require immediate attention. It is critical that the doctors treating patients with broken bones perform thorough examinations to determine the extent and severity of the harm suffered and develop an appropriate plan of care. Some doctors neglect to perform adequate evaluations, however, and subsequently fail to observe critical complications that arise following fractures, such as compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome requires prompt treatment, and when it goes undiagnosed, the consequences can be catastrophic. If you or a loved one sustained losses due to a physician’s reckless failure to diagnose compartment syndrome, you could be owed damages, and you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The assertive Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your harm and craft a strategy designed to help you seek the best outcome possible.

Signs and Symptoms of Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a serious condition that occurs when an increase in pressure in one of the body’s compartments, which are sections of nerves and muscles surrounded by fascia, results in an insufficient blood supply to the tissues within the compartment. Compartment syndrome may be acute or chronic, and the legs and arms are the parts of the body most commonly affected. In most instances, compartment syndrome arises after a fracture, but it can occur following other injuries as well. The symptoms of compartment syndrome typically include pain that is out of proportion for the underlying injury, tingling or burning sensation, a lack of pulse in the affected area, and differences in the temperature and skin color in the injured area compared to other body parts. When doctors fail to diagnose compartment syndrome, it can lead to permanent nerve damage, paresthesia, amputation, paralysis, and in some cases, organ failure and death.

Liability for Failure to Diagnose Compartment Syndrome

Usually, the failure to diagnose an illness is the result of carelessness. As such, patients who suffer injuries as a result of their doctor's failure to diagnose compartment syndrome can often recover damages for their losses via medical malpractice claims.

In Maryland, plaintiffs in lawsuits arising out of malpractice will typically assert medical negligence claims against the defendants. To establish medical negligence, a plaintiff must first show that the defendant had a duty to abide by the standard of care, which is the treatment that a competent professional working in the same specialty as the defendant would provide when faced with a similar situation. Next, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant’s actions or failure to act constitute a breach of the standard of care. Generally, a plaintiff will need to hire a medical expert with experience in the defendant’s practice area to explain the standard of care to the judge or jury determining liability and describe how the defendant breached the standard.

Lastly, the plaintiff has to establish a causal link between the defendant’s behavior and the harm the plaintiff suffered. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s conduct directly caused the plaintiff to sustain damages and that the plaintiff would not have been injured absent the defendant’s actions. In most cases, the plaintiff will need an expert to demonstrate causation as well.

A plaintiff that proves a defendant’s fault may be awarded economic damages, such as the cost of necessary medical treatment, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages. Plaintiffs are also usually awarded compensation for their non-economic losses, like pain, suffering, diminished quality of life, and mental trauma.

Consult a Dedicated Attorney in Baltimore

Compartment syndrome can result in severe harm if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, and physicians who fail to accurately assess their patient's conditions should be held accountable. If you sustained losses because a doctor failed to diagnose compartment syndrome, you should speak to a lawyer about your right to seek compensation for your damages. The seasoned attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome, and we will work tirelessly on your behalf. We have an office in Baltimore, where we regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases. You can contact us via our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a consultation.