Nursing care of patients und ergoing neck surgery: Preventing, recognizing, and treating neck compartment syndrome

Jan Mejzlík,1,2, Arnošt Pellant1,2, Jana Škvrňáková2, Petra Mandysová2
1University Pardubice, Faculty of Health Studies, Department of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, Regional Hospital Pardubice, Czech Republic 2University Pardubice, Faculty of Health Studies, Czech Republic

Korespondenční autor: Jan Mejzlík (

ISSN 1804-7181 (On-line)

Full verze:
Full version

Submitted:6. 6. 2013
Accepted: 11. 12. 2013
Published online: 30. 12. 2013


The aim of this article was to describe the phenomenon of neck compartment syndrome and its nursing management. Compartment syndrome is currently known as a potentially serious problem occurring mainly in patients with limb trauma or in patients who underwent abdominal surgery. On the other hand, the scientific literature has devoted little attention to compartment syndrome of the neck. The scientific literature describing the physiology of wound healing was reviewed, with a focus on two factors closely related to wound healing in the neck and potentially affecting the development of neck compartment syndrome: neck bandaging techniques and wound drainage. Current knowledge about neck compartment syndrome was summarized. At present, only limited yet important information is available that may assist nurses and other members of the health care team to implement measures to minimize the risk of neck compartment syndrome. The information that is available about neck compartment syndrome could serve as an impetus for nurses to implement care that aims to prevent neck compartment syndrome. Of equal importance is a coordinated effort by the entire health care team to prevent this complication, or, if it develops, to manage it. This study highlights the importance of realizing that compartment syndrome is a potentially serious complication occurring not only in the commonly known anatomical locations (such as the limbs and the abdomen) but also in the neck. Additional studies shedding more light on this complication – using a nursing as well as a multidisciplinary approach – are needed.

Keywords: neck compartment syndrome; wound care; wound healing; neck surgery


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