Typically, crush injuries happen when someone is caught between two objects that are either very heavy or that put a terrific amount of force on a specific body part. For instance, crush injuries could happen at work when a worker gets his or her arm stuck in a machine or is struck by a vehicle.
Crush injuries can be devastating, even when they are not fatal. They can lead to emergency surgery. In some cases, full recovery is never possible. It depends on the severity of the injury. Some potential medical issues include:
- Bone fractures
- Open wounds and lacerations
- Crushed fingers
- Deep wounds
- Internal damage
- Nerve damage
- Secondary infections
- Compartment syndrome
Compartment syndrome in particular can be incredibly dangerous and sometimes leads to amputations. It increases the pressure since the interior damage — like a bone fracture — leads to bleeding inside the muscle. This in turn causes excess pressure in that muscle compartment. Blood supply decreases and nerve damage is a possibility.
Those with compartment syndrome may feel numbness in the affected area. They may see a notably decreased range of motion. They may also suffer from severe pain, even past the point where it should have faded. Of course, these symptoms may be hard to notice at first because the initial crush injury causes significant pain and similar symptoms all on its own.
If you have suffered a crush injury at work, you must know all of your legal rights. The injury could lead to significant medical bills, lost wages and even life-changing physical ramifications, such as an amputation.
Source: Medline Plus, “Crush injury,” accessed May 25, 2018