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Lawsuit says doctors failed to diagnose compartment syndrome

Imagine feeling a pressure in your muscles so intense that your blood flow is slowed to the point that low levels of oxygen in your body result in damage to muscle and nerve cells. These are the painful symptoms of compartment syndrome, which one woman says doctors failed to diagnose.

She and her husband have filed a lawsuit in another state, but Pennsylvania residents with medical malpractice concerns may be interested in the case.

The woman and her husband filed the lawsuit in late November. According to the complaint, the woman went to Protestant Memorial Medical Center in Illinois to get medical treatment for her ailment. The complaint says that because doctors failed to diagnose her with compartment syndrome, the woman suffered nerve and muscle damage, in addition to enduring constant pain.

She says these problems have led to a diminishment in her ability to enjoy life, and she has lost wages and taken on medical expenses because two doctors, two hospitals and a third party named in the suit failed to diagnose compartment syndrome.

The husband and wife are seeking more than $500,000 in compensation for costs resulting from the alleged failure to diagnose.

Many types of illnesses, including a number of types of cancer, can be effectively treated if they are diagnosed early. A failure to diagnose, however, can lead to lifelong injuries and death. When we go to a doctor with a medical problem, we expect that doctor and his or her colleagues to be able to determine what the problem is and treat it. When this doesn't happen, patients or their families may need to take legal action to achieve justice. 

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, "Woman claims doctors failed to diagnose painful muscle condition," Kelly Holleran, Dec. 17, 2013

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