Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Medical Malpractice

Staff Writer | June 16th, 2013

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Lawsuit Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS), is a nervous system disorder that causes pain, swelling, extreme sensitivity to touch, sweating, and pathological changes to bone and skin, often in one of a patient’s limbs. While it is not yet known exactly how RSD is caused, the disease often follows trauma to the affected limb, such as from a sprain, fracture, surgical procedure, or other traumatic injury to the blood vessels or nerves. In ten percent of RSD cases, there is obvious damage to nerve tissue in the affected limb. People suffering from RSD may have grounds for a Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy lawsuit if the syndrome occurs after an accident caused by negligence or a surgery or other procedure in which a medical error occurred.

Symptoms of RSD may include:

  • severe, “burning” pain in the limb or extremity
  • pain is not localized and is out of proportion to the initial injury
  • skin that is extremely sensitive or painful when touched
  • swelling and inflammation in skin and/or joints
  • skin that sweats excessively and feels warm to the touch
  • skin with extreme sensitivity to hot or cold tempteratures
  • blotchy, purple, pale, or red skin patches
  • changes in nail and hair growth and texture
  • difficulty moving affected limb

Causes of RSD

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is thought to be caused by the malfunctioning of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls certain involuntary bodily functions, such as heart rate, vascular constriction, and blood pressure. The malfunctioning of these processes is responsible for many of the symptoms of RSD, but the disease also impacts other bodily systems and has the potential to damage bodily organs, especially in cases where the disease progresses due to lack of adequate medical care.

While it is not always possible to precisely determine the cause of RSD, in many cases that have led to a Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy lawsuit it has been proven in a court of law that the disease was caused by negligent medical care and/or surgical error. In cases like this, health care providers and facilities who contributed to the injury, through negligent act or omission, can be held liable for damages.

Examples of doctor negligence that have provided grounds for a lawsuit include:

  • an inexperienced surgeon tries and fails to remove birth control implants from a patient’s arm, causing unnecessary pain, suffering, and damage to nerves and other tissue
  • an orthopedic surgeon nicks an artery but fails to notice in time to prevent severe bleeding, resulting in restricted blood flow and permanent nerve damage
  • a surgeon unnecessarily removes a mass of normal tissue from a woman’s arm because she or he failed to perform appropriate diagnostic tests before performing the procedure, resulting in damage to the woman’s lymphatic and nervous system
  • a routine blood draw causes a catastrophic injury when a hospital’s phlebotomy staff improperly moves a needle around inside a patient’s arm rather than extracting it immediately after failing to draw blood

File a Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy lawsuit

If you have been injured by an unnecessary surgery or medical error, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills, and loss of income and earning capacity. A New York medical malpractice lawyer at The Sanders Firm can devote their considerable experience and expertise to determining who is at fault for your injuries and making sure you receive the monetary damages that you deserve. Call The Sanders Firm at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY for a free consultation and case evaluation. 1.800.FAIR.PLAY