The damage that can be caused by a crush injury is extensive. In the workplace, one of the top killers is crushing accidents. In 2011, 350 people died from crush workplace injuries from equipment, cave-in's during excavation projects, objects or structures, not including transportation accidents that may have had crush injuries as well. Due to the serious nature of these injuries, employers need to ensure that their workers are protected from crush injuries at all costs.
Symptoms Of A Crush Injury
When there is extreme force placed on the body, pinning an appendage or even the torso between two objects, the weight cause external and internal damage. Depending on the force that is used and the amount of time the body part is crushed for, there are several symptoms that can happen.
- Laceration. The pressure from the objects can cut through the skin and tissue, causing bleeding.
- Fractures. Extreme force can cause multiple fractures of the bones.
- Organ damage. If the torso is crushed, there is danger of vital organs being damaged from the pressure.
- Tissue and muscle damage. In severe crush scenarios, blood can be cut off from areas of the body, causing tissue and muscle damage to those areas. This can lead to paralysis, infection and compartment syndrome.
Compartment Syndrome Resulting When Limbs Are Crushed
For non-fatal crush injuries, one of the possible outcomes is called compartment syndrome. When a body part is crushed for a long period of time and blood flow is stopped to an area of the body, muscle and tissue death can happen. If not treated quickly, usually by surgery to release the pressure, there can be permanent muscle damage and even the need for amputation of the limb. Signs of compartment syndrome are:
- Shiny, pale skin
If compartment syndrome is suspected, medical treatment is needed as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage.
Crush Syndrome: When The Body Goes Into Shock
Another serious effect a crush injury can have on the body is extreme shock and renal failure from what is termed as crush syndrome. When a body part has been crushed for a long period of time, the muscle and tissue begin to die. Certain elements such as potassium, myoglobin and phosphorus are breakdown by-products of muscle deterioration. When the pressure from the crush injury is finally released, these elements can rush into the bloodstream and cause kidney failure and shock. Proper preparation is necessary to prevent this as sudden release can often cause death.
Medical Treatment for People With Serious Crush Injuries
Crush injuries can be life altering when severe, causing long-term disabilities and medical issues. In the case of compartment syndrome, if not treated quickly, it can lead to permanent muscle and nerve damage and in extreme cases, amputation. Crush syndrome can lead to cardiovascular problems, renal failure and muscle/nerve damage. 50% of survivors of crush syndrome need kidney dialysis. Both syndromes often require a fasciotomy, which is a surgical procedure that relieves the pressure in an area that has lost circulation in an attempt to save the tissue.Crush Injury Lawyers For Accidents In Chicago & Throughout the Midwest
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a crush injury, you know the pain and hardship these types of injuries can cause. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand the strain that a crush injury or other type of traumatically induced of injury can put on a family, financially, emotionally and physically. If the injury was caused from a workplace accident, you may be able to receive financial compensation for the injury in the form of workers compensation case or a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault party. We invite you to meet with one of our Illinois work injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your options.
Resources for crush injury prevention, treatment and management: