A crush injury occurs when all or part of a person’s body is caught between two objects and excessive force or pressure is applied. This type of injury may also be called a “caught in or between” injury. While many of these injuries may be accidental, there are steps that can be taken to prevent some crush injuries or occupational hazards. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists crush injuries as one of the “Focus Four” construction occupational hazards.
Symptoms of Crush Injuries
When a body is placed under extreme force or pressure, the weight can cause significant internal and external damage. There are a variety of injuries that can be caused by the external force that vary depending on the body part, force, and the amount of time the body part is crushed. Some of the most common injuries are:
- Fractures- such as broken bones
- Lacerations- cuts or bruises may be caused by objects cutting through the skin and tissue
- Tissue and muscle damage- In severe accidents, the crush injury may cut off blood and circulation to a part of the body. This can result in tissue damage to those areas and could potentially lead to paralysis, infection, and compartment syndrome.
- Organ damage- Vital organs may be damaged if certain areas of the body are crushed (such as the torso)
- Secondary Infections
- Nerve Damage
One of the more serious injuries is compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome occurs when a body part is crushed for a long period of time and the blood flow is stopped. If not treated quickly, permanent muscle or tissue damage can occur. In severe cases, amputation of the limb may be necessary. Some common signs of compartment syndrome are:
- Pain or weakness
- Shiny or pale skin
Another serious injury that can be caused by a crush injury is crush syndrome. This occurs when a body part has been under extreme pressure, or crushed, for a long period of time and the muscle and tissue begins to die. During that process, elements are released into the system such as potassium, myoglobin, and phosphorus. After the pressure is removed, it can release these elements into the blood stream causing shock and kidney failure.
Causes of Crush Injuries
Crush injuries can occur from a variety of accidents. Some of the most common causes of crush injuries are:
If you or someone you love has been suffered a crush injury due to someone else’s negligence, call an experienced personal injury attorney today. They will be able to evaluate your potential claim and help advise you of your rights. Contact Powers Taylor today for a free initial consultation.