Crush injuries make up some of the most potentially harmful or even fatal injuries that a person could face.
But what exactly are they? How do they happen and what are the biggest risks associated with them?
What are crush injuries?
Up To Date discusses crush injuries in adults. Crush injuries occur as a direct result of a victim’s body – either in part or in full – ending up flattened, run over, pinned, or compressed by a larger and/or heavier object.
In these situations, the victim typically cannot free himself or herself from the obstruction. In other cases, the victim may suffer from a temporary but debilitating pressure, such as if a truck runs over one of their feet.
Two types of crush injury
The risks of crush injuries change depending on several factors. Most notably, the biggest risks of limb injury include the possibility of infection. Gangrene and necrosis may cause irreversible tissue loss and damage, potentially even leading to amputations. Sepsis may occur for some.
As for crush injuries to the torso, a victim will have to worry about the possibility of organ failure. This may occur when organs begin to shut down due to the lack of blood flow and oxygen, or when organs begin to overwork to compensate for damaged organs.
Any crush injury requires immediate medical attention, with some putting a victim in potentially life-threatening conditions right away. Quick care could mean the difference between relatively temporary injury or potential life-altering repercussions that could change the way a person lives.