$325K For Failing To Diagnose Acute Compartment Syndrome

Failure to Diagnose

76-year old male had the signs and symptoms of acute compartment syndrome in his left forearm days after a minor operation in Middletown, New York.

For 3 days before the diagnosis, the patient complained of numbness, swelling, bruising and black and blue discoloration and severe pain in his left forearm. Bruising, swelling, pain and numbness are the classic symptoms of acute compartment syndrome. Acute compartment syndrome is the unrelieved pressure to a musle compartment and this usually occurs in an arm or leg.

The hospitalists failed to do any testing for acute compartment syndrome and despite repeated requests from the patient and his wife, the surgeon refused to come to the hospital to see the patient. On the morning of the 4th day following surgery, a hand surgeon diagnosed acute compartment syndrome and performed an emergency fasciotomy to relieve the pressure in the muscle compartment. As a result of the 3-day delay in diagnosis, the patient was left with irreversible nerve damage in his left forearm and limited use of his left hand and fingers.

The case settled for $325k. The settlement will provide the patient with funds to move to a new home.

$325k for Failing to Diagnose Acute Compartment Syndrome in Middletown, New York