After the application of an arm cast, the client has pain on passive stretching of the fingers, finger swelling and tightness, and loss of function. Based on these data, the nurse anticipates that the client may be developing which of the following?
1. Delayed bone union.
2. Compartment syndrome.
3. Fat embolism.
Compartment syndrome, caused by compression of blood vessels and nerves, can lead to irreversible muscle and nerve damage if not detected early. Common signs of compartment syndrome in the arm include pain unrelieved by analgesics, pain on passive extension of fingers, loss of function, numbness and tingling, pallor, coolness of the extremity, and decreased or absent peripheral pulse. Delayed bone union does not cause symptoms of neurovascular impairment. Fat embolism is characterized primarily by confusion and respiratory symptoms. Osteomyelitis is a bone infection and is manifested by signs and symptoms of inflammation and infection.
CN: Reduction of risk potential; CL: Analyze