Car crashes can lead to a variety of dangerous injuries. Crush injuries are not spoken of as frequently, but they are among the most hazardous.
What exactly are crush injuries and how do they happen? What are the biggest associated risks?
Full-body vs. partial-body crush
Up To Date takes a look at crush injuries and how they impact victims. Crush injuries in car crashes typically happen if a vehicle ends up compacted to any degree, or if people end up ejected from the car. In the case of the latter, full-body crush injuries are more likely as a victim will often end up pinned between the car and the road, two vehicles, or the car and other objects.
Full-body crush injuries often come with the risks of both torso and extremity crush injuries. Torso crush injuries involve the trunk of the body and the biggest risks center around organ failure. As blood and oxygen get cut off from the organs, the victim’s organs begin to shut down.
As for extremity crush injuries, the biggest risks tend to come in the form of bacteria and infections. As tissue loses oxygen and blood, it will begin to die and necrotize. This opens the body up to bacteria which then leads to infection.
Infections and sepsis
Gangrene commonly affects people with this type of injury, and many end up having to get parts or the entirety of an affected limb amputated.
Sepsis is also a concern in both cases. This blood infection can kill a victim within 72 hours of symptoms first appearing in some cases, making it a major threat.