Crush injuries often result in serious complications, life-long recovery periods and potentially permanent changes both to a victim’s lifestyle and to their body. No matter how a crush injury happens, immediate treatment should follow as soon as possible, as this is the best way to mitigate such long-lasting damage.
But not many people know how to react to crush injuries. In fact, many do not even know what these injuries are.
How do crush injuries happen?
Medline Plus examines crush injuries and their impact. People who work in high-risk industries such as construction, open sea fishing, large manufacturing warehouses or other jobs with heavy machinery will have likely heard of crush injuries before. Crush injuries involve part of the body getting crushed by a larger or heavier force. Examples of potential crush injury incidents include:
- A heavy object falling on a worker’s foot
- A worker’s hand getting caught in machinery
- Someone backing into and/or over a worker with a vehicle
- A worker getting pinned between a flat surface and heavy object
Generally, crush injuries have an immediate and devastating impact. For example, no matter how quickly you move an enormous weight from someone’s foot, the foot itself has likely already suffered fractures, bone breaks, splitting of the skin and tearing of the muscle.
The risks of slow treatment
If a victim cannot get out of the situation quickly, even worse damage may occur. Blood and oxygen get cut off to that area of the body, resulting in the death of tissue which can cause necrosis and gangrene. Infections, including the often-fatal blood infection called sepsis, may set in as well. This type of cell death and infection can set in within the first hour of the crush incident, which is why swift treatment proves so crucial.