A crush injury involves the application of immense pressure on any area of the body. As the name suggests, these injuries can do a heavy amount of damage with lasting physical repercussions.
But exactly how and why do crush injuries cause so much harm?
Types of crush injury
Medline Plus examines crush injuries in victims. There are two primary types of crush injury based on the area of the body injured: trunk injuries and extremity injuries. Trunk injuries typically involve a crush injury to the torso, or anywhere from the neck down. Extremity injuries involve the arms, legs, hands and feet.
Crush injuries can vary in severity based on numerous factors including the health of the victim, the weight of the object doing the crushing, the area of the body it fell on, the height the object fell from, and how long it takes to remove the object.
For example, someone may suffer a crush injury to the trunk after getting trapped inside of a collapsed building. Someone else could suffer an extremity injury to the foot after their foot gets run over by a large truck at a construction site.
What causes the damage
Due to the immense amount of pressure involved in crush injuries, the body part that is crushed can literally end up flattened. This can do irreparable damage to the flesh, muscle, bone and nerves in the affected area.
In many cases, a victim must undergo amputation of severely affected limbs. Crush injuries to the torso can cause extended complications too, such as organ failure. All of it is due to the pressure behind the crush, which is why these injuries are so dangerous.