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What are crush injuries and how can they harm you?

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2023 | Personal Injury

A person may struggle with problems after an accident at work or on the road, some of which they might not even recognize as potential long-term threats at first. One such perilous occurrence is a crush injury.

These injuries, often underestimated, can wreak havoc on the human body, causing severe harm.

Meaning of the term

A crush injury occurs when an external force applies immense pressure to a body part, causing compression of tissues, muscles and even bones. These injuries can arise from various sources, such as accidents in the workplace, vehicular collisions or even during natural disasters like earthquakes. Regardless of the cause, the consequences can be catastrophic.

Delayed and immediate effects

When the human body experiences a crush injury, the effects can be both immediate and delayed. Upon impact, the pressure exerted on the affected area can lead to fractures, lacerations and damage to vital organs. Immediate consequences may include severe bleeding, loss of sensation and excruciating pain.

Compartment syndrome

One of the most insidious complications of crush injuries is compartment syndrome. This condition arises when the pressure buildup within a muscle compartment becomes excessive, impeding blood flow and nerve function.

As a result, the affected muscles and nerves can deteriorate rapidly. Recognizing compartment syndrome’s symptoms, including intense pain, numbness and muscle weakness, is important to prevent further damage.

Crush syndrome

Crush syndrome is another sinister consequence of crush injuries. This issue occurs when prolonged compression releases toxic substances, such as myoglobin, into the bloodstream. These toxins can wreak havoc on the kidneys, leading to renal failure, and even cause cardiac arrest.

Early recognition of crush syndrome symptoms, like dark urine and swelling, can be lifesaving. With many people facing internal complications just 60 minutes after a crush injury, time is of the essence when this problem happens.

Long-term implications

Long-term consequences for crush injuries can include chronic pain, disability and psychological trauma. Victims often endure extensive rehabilitation and therapy, both physically and emotionally, to regain their quality of life.

Dealing with the strain that comes after a crush injury is not just a physical problem but a mental one too. Taking proactive measures can help protect people from the hidden dangers of crush injuries.