Crush injuries are a major medical issue that can have numerous short and long-term impacts on the sufferer.
Many different components weigh in to determine how serious a crush injury is and what type of impact it may ultimately have.
Defining crush injuries
Up To Date takes a look at crush injuries and their effects. First, note that crush injuries often typically occur to the extremities (limbs) or to the trunk (torso). In some instances, such as if a person ends up trapped in a collapsed building, both extremity and trunk crush injuries may occur. These are the most severe type of crush injury and, unfortunately, have high mortality rates.
When looking at extremity and trunk crush injuries, each has a different set of risks. For example, the risk of amputation with extremity crush injuries is quite high. Many of these sufferers could end up losing a toe, finger, hand, foot, or even an entire arm or leg.
This is because the crush injury causes blood to get cut off to the area in question, which results in the tissues dying. If it is not treated in time, the dead tissues may take up too much of the affected limb to save it.
On the other hand, the biggest risk for trunk crush injuries often comes in the form of organ failure. When blood cannot circulate properly through the trunk, it often impacts the organs there. When one organ fails, the others begin to work harder to make up for it, which can cause them to fail faster.
Either of these outcomes is dire and something to avoid at all costs through swift medical intervention.