crush injuries

What Are the Risks of Crush Injuries After a Car Crash?

Car crashes can leave victims with severe, life-changing injuries. This is true even in minor car crashes, which is why it’s so important for victims to seek immediate medical care after a crash. One serious type of injury that can become fatal is crush injuries. While some are obvious right away, others may wait hours or days to show up.

At Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, we know very well how quickly a car accident can result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, a lost job, and serious injuries. We’re here to help. Call us at 866-565-4949 to set up a consultation right now.

What Causes Crush Injuries

A crush injury can occur any time that part of the body experiences extreme force or pressure. For example, the force of a vehicle slamming into a person can easily cause a crush injury. These injuries also happen when someone is between a stationary surface and a moving object.

Consider, for example, someone who is thrown from their vehicle and is laying on the pavement when they are struck by a large piece of debris from a car crash. While occupants of a vehicle are at risk of these injuries, so are motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

This type of force puts an enormous amount of strain on the organs, muscles, and other tissues. The larger the other vehicle, the greater the risk of a serious crush injury is. Because of this, crush injuries are more common in collisions involving buses, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles.

Treatment Options

As you may imagine, these injuries can cause serious complications. As a result, prompt treatment is essential. The immediate focus is generally a victim’s breathing and fluid levels, as crush injuries can result in a rapid fluid loss in some areas and fluid buildup in other areas. Long-term much depends on how serious the injury is. In some cases, surgical intervention is necessary to save the victim’s life and maintain their quality of life.

Complications and Secondary Conditions

When a crush injury occurs, victims may experience a wide range of complications and side effects. Issues caused by crush injuries include:

  • Internal and external bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Infection caused by exposure to the ground, sharp metal, or other surfaces
  • Crushed muscles and blood vessels
  • Broken bones

The health concerns do not stop there. If crush injuries are not properly treated or identified right away, secondary diagnoses are possible. Even with immediate treatment, secondary concerns can develop—especially if the injury is severe. Potential complications include:

  • Crush syndrome: Crush syndrome happens when the body’s cells do not get the blood and oxygen they need. As time passes, cells begin to die off, releasing toxic chemicals into the bloodstream. As the level of toxins builds up, the kidneys struggle to keep up with the job of filtering out the toxins. The end result can be metabolic issues, heart attack, kidney failure, or even death.
  • Compartment syndrome: When the cells of the body are constricted and forced into a small area, they are unable to get the blood and oxygen they need. As a result, cells in the muscles, tendons, and nerves begin dying off shortly after the initial injury.
  • Hyperkalemia: Hyperkalemia is always a risk when a crush injury occurs. When the cells experience sudden, intense pressure, they release potassium into the bloodstream. When enough excess potassium is in the bloodstream, a heart attack may occur.

Symptoms That Warrant Immediate Medical Attention

After a car accident, it’s always recommended that you seek immediate medical care. If symptoms develop afterward or you decide not to go right away, the following symptoms may indicate a crush injury:

  • Tingling or burning sensation
  • Hypothermia
  • Swelling
  • Changes in skin tone and color
  • Inability to move
  • Slowed heart rate

Reach Out to Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman Now

Crush injuries can put you at risk of fatal or lifelong damage. It’s crucial to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after a crash to begin fighting for the compensation you are owed. Find out how Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman can help you now. Call us at 866-565-4949 or reach out online to set up a consultation now.