No one denies that a car crash can cause you to suffer a variety of injuries, some definitely more serious than others. Crush injuries, however, represent an especially serious type of injury because they often can — and do — lead to catastrophic complications.
MedLine Plus explains that, by definition, a crush injury is one in which part of your body becomes trapped and crushed between two heavy objects or unforgiving surfaces. Your legs, feet, arms and hands face the most risk in a car crash since they can easily get caught underneath your dashboard and/or within your steering wheel.
Your immediate crush injury symptoms may include any or all of the following:
- Intense pain
- Broken or splintered bones
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Excessive bleeding
- Nerve, muscle or ligament damage that severely limits your ability to move or feel anything in your crushed limb
Unfortunately, many crush injuries cause such extensive damage to your affected limb that doctors cannot save it and must amputate it instead. You may also experience a serious complicating condition known as compartment syndrome soon after your accident. If your affected body part swells extensively, the swelling may exceed your body’s ability to contain it. In other words, your affected muscles and tissues may die because the fascia compartment(s) surrounding them are simply too small to allow for good circulation while swollen. Their death releases toxins into your blood that could result in a life-threatening systemic infection.
Needless to say, a crush injury represents a true medical emergency. You need immediate intervention and treatment to attempt to minimize the damage it can cause.