Crush injuries can happen to anyone, and not just construction workers or employees who work with heavy machinery or equipment. In fact, many people involved in car crashes will experience crush injuries.
Thus, it is important for everyone to understand the most serious impacts crush injuries can have.
Necrosis and infection
Up To Date discusses the risk of crush injuries and their potential impact. Crush injuries occur in any situation where the body ends up compressed, buried or run over by something larger and/or heavier than it. Examples range from getting run over by a car to pinned by a falling metal beam.
Crush injuries can impact multiple areas of the body at a time, just one area, or even the entire body depending on the size and type of object that hits a victim. Depending on the area affected, the risks may change.
For example, if a victim largely suffers from injuries to the extremities, i.e. the hands, feet, legs or arms, then they may have a higher risk of infection. Tissue in these areas die quickly with a lack of blood and oxygen, leading to cell death and necrosis. This opens the door for bacteria to get in quickly, like gangrene, resulting in potential amputation happening later down the line.
Organ failure and damage
For trunk crush injuries, organ failure and damage serves as the biggest concern. Organs may begin to shut down or fail without oxygen or proper blood flow, and some may fail because they have to work harder. Critical organ failure can take a life in mere minutes.
Sepsis also exists as a big risk in any crush injury situation. This blood infection can set in within hours and the most deadly forms can kill victims as little as 72 hours after symptoms first appear, making it one of the biggest risks after initial dangers pass.