We report the case of an 81-year-old female who developed an upper arm anterior compartment syndrome from the mass effect caused by an infiltrated intravenous access catheter. The patient’s anterior compartment became tense and uncompressible, and the patient developed radial nerve palsy. A fasciotomy was performed, resulting in the evacuation of 100 mL of fluid. Over the course of the patient’s follow-up, motor and sensory function slowly returned. In atraumatic patients with intravenous access, the development of a tense compartment with developing nerve palsies should warrant workup for possible compartment syndrome due to mass effect. If treated promptly with fasciotomy, the complications of this limb-threatening condition can be minimized or possibly reversed.Reference:
Tawfik A, Hozack B, Melendez J, Varghese B, Katt BM, Beredjiklian P, Nakashian M. Impending Upper Arm Compartment Syndrome Secondary to Intravenous Fluid Infiltration. Cureus. 2021 Jun 15;13(6):e15671. doi: 10.7759/cureus.15671. PMID: 34277262; PMCID: PMC8282358.