Our Service For You

Medical Negligence
Delayed Diagnosis of Compartment Syndrome

Delayed Diagnosis of Compartment Syndrome

If you or your loved one has been left with complications because doctors failed to diagnose and treat compartment syndrome, you could be entitled to pursue a medical negligence claim. For more information about claiming compensation, get in touch with a solicitor today.

Compartment syndrome complications

Compartment syndrome is when pressure increases within a fascial compartment. Fascial compartments are confined spaces through which blood vessels, nerves and muscle tissue run. They are made of a membrane layer and can be found around muscles.

Pressure may increase within a fascial compartment due to any type of injury that causes swelling - such as a fracture. However, when this happens the blood vessels will be compressed and the blood supply will be blocked. Blood carries oxygen, meaning the surrounding muscles will become ischaemic - meaning deficient in oxygen.

After a short time, oxygen deficiency will cause the muscle tissue to break down. If left untreated this will become increasingly extensive until eventually the muscle becomes necrotic, meaning it dies. Once the muscle is necrotic it cannot be saved and must instead be surgically removed. This can lead to a number of serious complications, including:-

  • Permanent nerve damage;
  • Permanent muscle damage;
  • Reduced or total loss of function;
  • Amputation;
  • Permanent scarring from fasciotomy procedure;
  • Organ damage or failure;
  • Death (although this is very rare).

Claiming for delayed diagnosis of compartment syndrome

It is therefore of the utmost importance that compartment syndrome is diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion, as this is the only way to prevent the complications listed above. As long as the pressure is relieved via a surgical procedure (called a fasciotomy) quickly, the blood supply to the muscles will be restored and irreparable damage will be avoided. Some medical experts suggest this must be done within six hours of the onset of symptoms. If there is a delay, the lack of oxygen will cause the tissue to die and complications will ensue.

If medical professionals are to blame for a delay in treatment - perhaps because they failed to make a diagnosis - they will be held responsible for a patient's complications. This is because any reasonably competent medical professional should be able to recognise compartment syndrome and appreciate the need for urgent treatment. A failure to do so will amount to a substandard level of medical care. A patient who is injured because of unacceptable medical care is entitled to pursue a claim for compensation.

If you would like to find out more about claiming compensation for compartment syndrome, contact us today.

Bookmark This Article?

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

Free enquiry


Free Claim Enquiry

Complete a short enquiry form and we will contact you.

Free enquiry



"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?

Helping Clients throughout England and Wales

contact us


Free Medical Negligence Guide

'7 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing A Medical Negligence Solicitor'

Free download