Crush injuries are among some of the most difficult to treat, have an excruciatingly long healing process, and can happen to just about anyone. Accidents in the field of construction and car crashes account for a majority of these incidents, but they can occur anywhere large, heavy objects exist.
Unfortunately, crush injuries also have a lot of complications, and it is important to understand them in order to get a good picture of the recovery process.
What is compartment syndrome?
First, crush injuries have unique complications. The National Institutes of Health discuss a common but potentially dangerous complication of crush injury known as compartment syndrome. This most often occurs in the forearm or leg as a result of increased pressure to the area, which happens in a crush injury. When the pressure to the muscles in the area gets too high, blood flow decreases, starving the cells of blood and oxygen.
Acute compartment syndrome – the type that occurs with an injury like a crush incident – requires immediate medical attention. Without it, permanent damage to the affected muscle may occur.
Other potential complications include infection of the flesh and blood, such as gangrene or sepsis. Necrosis of the tissue is also possible, in which oxygen-starved tissue begins to die off while still attached to the body.
In trunk crush injuries, it is also possible for organ damage to occur. Organs may suffer from decreased oxygen and begin to shut down or fail, and if not treated in time, this damage can be permanent or even fatal. This is why it is crucial to get immediate attention for crush injuries.