Compartment Syndrome and Illinois Law
Compartment syndrome is a condition where there is an increased degree of pressure within the muscles. The pressure can be caused by an inflammation or bleeding. As the pressure increases, blood flow is restricted.
It can occur from recurring and persistent muscle use but can also occur after an injury or surgery.
For example, an athlete may experience chronic compartment syndrome from exercise, which is not an immediate medical emergency. This typically occurs with cyclists who may experience chronic compartment syndrome in the legs.
At the same time, an individual who experiences a "crush injury" when his leg is pinned between a wall and a forklift can develop acute compartment syndrome over several hours, which is a medical emergency.
The two main symptoms of compartment syndrome are pain that seems to be far greater than expected for the injury and a "pins and needles" sensation. If the affected compartment contains an artery, then a lack of pulse may be a symptom. Swollen shiny skin may be another indicator. Paralysis of a limb is also a symptom but it usually occurs with a late diagnosis.
It is important to see a doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you experience these symptoms after an injury or surgery. Irreversible tissue damage can occur within as little as six hours. If left untreated, compartment syndrome can cause nerve damage or muscle death and in some cases lead to kidney failure and amputation.
To diagnose compartment syndrome, the pressure within the compartment is measured and treatment depends on the degree of pressure. Acute compartment syndrome may require a fasciotomy. A fasciotomy is a procedure where the skin is cut in order to relieve the pressure and allow blood flow.
For chronic compartment syndrome, pressure is usually tested before and after exercise and treatment may include a combination of rest, anti-inflammatories and elevation of the limb, among other things.
In the example above where the worker experienced a crush injury at work, he may have grounds to bring a medical malpractice suit if he went to the ER and the compartment syndrome was not diagnosed at the time. He would also have a workers' compensation claim because the injury that caused the compartment syndrome occurred at work. In addition, if the forklift operator was not an employee of the same company, then he could also have grounds for a personal injury suit.
If you suffer from this awful problem it is important to hire an attorney to investigate your case that can demonstrate a track record of success with Illinois compartment syndrome lawsuits. Hiring the wrong attorney could literally be the difference of millions of dollars.
We know numerous attorneys throughout the state who have great experience with catastrophic injury cases. They all work on a contingency basis. We can't guarantee you a result, but do promise that we will not recommend an attorney to you if we wouldn't suggest the same lawyer to a family member or friend. If you would like our help please contact us at any time.