A crush injury occurs in any situation where part of the body gets pinned, run over, crushed or smashed by a larger or heavier object.
These injuries have the potential to come with devastating complications. It is important to understand these potential complications and act against them in a timely manner.
Torso and trunk injuries
Up To Date discusses crush injuries in victims and their most risky complications. A crush injury can either happen to the extremities or limbs, i.e. the hands, feet, legs and arms, or the torso or trunk.
Crush injuries to the torso or trunk will often impact the organs therein. This impact can come immediately and may put the victim’s life at risk in a matter of moments. In some cases, organs may begin to fail or shut down in anywhere from minutes to hours. This is due to the lack of blood flow, oxygen, and the potential pressure put on the organs directly.
Extremity and limb injuries
As for crush injuries to extremities, infections and necrosis often pose the biggest threat. If the limbs go without oxygen for too long, the tissue begins to die and necrotize. This creates a ripe environment for the bacteria on the skin and in the surrounding area to infect the dying tissue. Gangrene often takes hold, leading to the possibility of amputation. In some cases, a blood infection called sepsis also kicks in. Septic shock, a form of sepsis, can kill a victim less than 72 hours after symptoms start to appear.
Due to these extreme and high impact scenarios, it makes the treatment of crush injuries a top priority for any victim.