What Is Crush Syndrome?
Car accidents can be the cause of a wide variety of severe injuries, some of which may, unfortunately, be even life-threatening if help isn’t seen fast enough. From back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken limbs, and coma there are various ways a motor vehicle accident can leave the victim disabled. Crush syndrome is one of the injuries that can affect the victim for the rest of their lives.
What Are The Symptoms of Crush Syndrome?
Crush syndrome refers to the systematic breakdown of muscle cells as they release their contents in the circulation system. This negatively impacts internal organs and can cause various problems ranging from:
- Acute renal failure
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Hypovolemic shock
There are three criteria that characterize the cause of crush syndrome:
- prolonged compression of any kind (1-6 hours)
- involvement of muscle mass
- compromised local circulation
What Are The Causes of Crush Syndrome?
Although crush injuries are normally associated with human-induced disasters such as:
- Bombings of buildings
- Natural disasters that cause buildings to collapse
- Motor vehicle accidents
Crush syndrome occurs in victims who experience a part of their body being compressed by heavy force for an extended period of time causing the blood circulation to stop. Any situation with prolonged immobility and pressure on a particular body part that compromises blood circulation can result in crush syndrome.
Are There Any Treatments For Crush Syndrome?
This syndrome affects the body’s internal organs, causing complications such as:
- Renal failure
- Cardiovascular instability
- Skin injury and swelling
At first, the person may seem unharmed and have no signs or symptoms of crush present. If the victim is conscious after their traumatic accident, they may complain of pain in the extremities. However, if the victim is not given treatment immediately, the injury may cause rapid deterioration. Failure to diagnose the condition can cause serious complications such as the development of a condition called hyperkalemia, which refers to the elevated levels of potassium in the blood that can cause:
- Muscle Fatigue
In crush patients, an ECG must be performed as soon as possible. The most critical therapy for a patient suffering from crush syndrome is aggressive fluid resuscitation to restore circulating fluid volume in the limbs and body
Though crush injuries mostly occur as a result of earthquakes, industrial accidents, or other severe mishaps, road accidents can also cause the crush syndrome. It is a severe injury that, in unfortunate circumstances, can create lifelong physical disabilities. If you’re a victim of any kind of crush injury, all hope is not lost, you can be compensated for the pain and suffering you have endured at the hands of another.
Description of Crush Syndrome
As kids, everyone has had their hands pinched between doors or been crushed under a pile of friends. This is a painless or mild form of crushing that has no long-term effects and the pain subsides within a few minutes. Crush syndrome on the other hand is similar in the sense that a person is crushed but the difference is the situation and the intensity of crushing.
A crush injury is described as an injury caused due to the body suffering immense pressure and getting crushed due to a heavy object. Crush injury leads to crush syndrome.
It is characterized by the body going into hypovolaemic shock due to dwindling circulation volume and the trauma-affected muscles releasing potassium and other contents inside the body.
How to identify Crush Syndrome
Crush syndrome symptoms are quite easy to identify if you know what to look for. Recognizing these symptoms on time can potentially save someone’s life or avoid a long-term physical problem. Here’s what common crush syndrome symptoms are:
- Crushing injury to a skeletal muscle.
- Crushed limb or body part undergoing motor complications.
- Tensing or swelling of the affected part.
- No pulse or feeling in the part.
- Kidney failure – is identified when the body passes an abnormally small amount of urine which is also tea-colored.
- Disturbance in the overall chemistry of the body causes nausea, haziness, and anxious moods.
If you have been suffering any of the above symptoms for prolonged periods of time, it might be wise to visit the doctor.
What to do if you suspect you have Crush Syndrome
If you have any reason to suspect that you might have fallen prey to the crush syndrome, you must first keep your cool. Our minds play the most important role in keeping our bodies healthy and functioning. Take a deep breath and call your family or a friend to drive you to the doctor. If no one is available, call an ambulance. Crush syndrome is a chronic problem that must never be ignored even if the patient doesn’t seem to be at immediate risk or in pain.
Once you’re at the doctor’s, you will be diagnosed and the doctor will begin treatment immediately.
What happens if crush syndrome goes undiagnosed?
Like any other problem, crush syndrome can fester very quickly and affect your entire body if left untreated. It can develop severe complications, leading to even more medical problems.
- As we discussed, the traumatized muscles may release potassium inside the body. Even though it may not seem very threatening, a spike in potassium levels is the most common factor causing deaths in crush syndrome victims. It causes arrhythmia and cardiac arrest.
- Sepsis and internal infections are also very common in crush syndrome patients.
- Renal failure and a disturbance in the chemical composition of the body may also cause further problems.
- Compartment syndrome, wherein circulation to the affected muscles is stopped, may result in permanent muscle damage.
Patients with crush injuries are always observed for any symptoms of crush syndrome. However, in some cases, complications may develop even after careful observation. It is due to this reason that prevention of crush syndrome becomes even more important. When we take preventive steps, the chances of enduring a physical loss decrease.
Prevention of Crush Syndrome
It is hard to avoid unforeseen and unfortunate situations. But it is possible to minimize the damage by dealing with such situations as quickly as possible. The most foolproof solution to a medical problem is to address the problem at its first instance of identification. If you’ve been in a crushing accident, you know there are chances of the development of crush syndrome. Your focus should be on getting immediate medical assistance.
Kidney failure is common in crush syndrome. Drink lots of water to maintain your chemical balance, decrease the risk of harmful chemicals being released and reduce the risk of renal failure. Hydration is also one of the first steps that doctors take when a crush syndrome patient enters the hospital under their care.
Doctors also make the patient undergo fluid resuscitation to keep the circulation volume from decreasing to the point of it turning fatal.
Victims of crush injuries are also advised to remain under hospital observation for a minimum of five days. This gives the patient an opportunity to make a healthy recovery and helps the doctors identify any early signs of crush syndrome. Depending on how fast the medical team was in addressing the problem, you might avoid crush syndrome all together.
Have you or a loved one been victimized by the crush syndrome?
If you’ve been in a car accident that caused your body to suffer the crush syndrome, you might be eligible to be compensated for the same. It is no secret that thousands of car accidents are caused in the United States every year. Of these, hundreds lead to death and many more to disabilities. For those whose lives came to a halt and those who cannot enjoy life the same way anymore, the law is there to help them.
Our team of expert accident attorneys is experienced in handling hundreds of compensation claims. We care about our clients and we understand how an accident that occurred in a second can affect a person’s life for the years to come.It is our hope to be able to offer the very best remedy that the law allows to every single victim that asks us for help. If you’ve suffered, please contact us today and we will get working on helping you and ensuring the deliverance of the justice that is due.
Contact A California Car Accident Lawyer For A Free Consultation
If you or someone close to you has sustained severe injuries in a car accident, seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer at Krasney Law. at (909) 380-7200 for a free consultation. We will help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses.