We report the case of a 3-month-old girl with Down's syndrome, who sustained a deep and massive extravasation of dopamine, resulting in segmented, full-thickness skin necrosis and transient brachial plexus palsy of her left upper extremity. The patient was managed conservatively, including wound care, de-bridement of necrotic tissue, secondary wound healing and intensive physical therapy. The patient showed a satisfactory outcome with complete secondary closure of her wounds and full brachial plexus recovery after 1 year of follow-up. The mechanism of action of dopamine in the deep soft tissue, the difficulties of an adequate diagnosis of a deep dopamine extravasation and alternative treatments are presented in this article. © 2008 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.