Missouri Abdominal Injury Attorney
Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome can occur within any enclosed space of the body. With an enclosed compartment, or space, any trauma that causes an increase in pressure can potentially cause injury to the organs and structures within that compartment.
The most common injury to cause an increase in abdominal pressure is blunt force trauma to the abdomen, such as in a car crash or fall from a great height. The increase in pressure will eventually impair the function of the abdominal organs. It also decreases the blood supply to the abdominal organs as the pressure within the cavity compresses the blood vessels supplying each organ. Another cause of this syndrome is massive internal bleeding within the abdominal cavity, such as can occur from a gunshot or stabbing; in these instances, the entrance wound from the knife or bullet is too small to prevent the pressure from rapidly increasing.
Symptoms of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome can have a delayed or rapid onset depending on the cause; in either case, the most obvious and noteworthy symptom is extreme abdominal pain and bloating. A person may also notice difficulty taking a deep breath and feel short of breath. As the abdominal organs begin to have impaired function, the most ominous sign will be decreased urine output as the kidneys are the most vulnerable to compressive injury.
Treatment and Prognosis
The treatment for compartment syndrome is emergent surgery to open the abdomen and relieve the pressure within the abdominal cavity. The longer surgery is delayed, the higher the risk of permanent damage occurring to one or more of the abdominal organs. If the cause is massive internal bleeding, necessary steps to control the blood loss will be taken at this time; a blood transfusion may be necessary. Unlike most surgeries, you will come out of surgery with an open wound. It is imperative that closure of the abdomen is delayed until the swelling subsides and the risk of recurrence is low.
Abdominal compartment syndrome can be a potentially lethal condition, but with an emergent surgical decompression the chance of survival is increased. However, when the abdominal organs receive decreased blood flow some of the tissue can die, causing irreversible damage and decrease in function. Permanent organ damage can affect the intestines, kidneys, and liver which could result in life-long problems with bowel or bladder dysfunction.
A Tradition of Dedication and Success
The crisis of a serious injury can overwhelm you and your family. We have the experience and commitment to help you seek compensation as you recover from compartment syndrome. Contact our St. Louis personal injury attorneys at (314) 322-8515 for experienced legal representation.