If you get into a truck accident, one of the kinds of injuries that you might suffer from is a crushing injury. A crushing injury is one that leads to heavy pressure, oftentimes crushing pressure, on a part of your body.
These injuries are dangerous for a few reasons. In severe cases, the pressure on the wounded area may prevent you from bleeding or dying from a serious injury, but once that pressure is released, you could suddenly go through a series of complications that has the potential to lead to your death.
The damage caused by crushing injuries can be devastating
Keep in mind that the kinds of crushing injuries seen in truck accidents are some of the worst. They may involve large areas of the person’s body.
Some of the damage that can come from crushing injuries include:
- Severe bleeding
- Compartment syndrome
- Nerve injuries
Perhaps the most severe risk comes from a complication called crush syndrome. When crush syndrome happens, compartment syndrome, rhabdomyolysis and arrhythmias may occur independently or together. When not treated rapidly, these can lead to death.
What causes such severe health problems?
Compartment syndrome is normally the first problem. It happens when there is swelling from having the heavy object on the body for so long. It can lead to reperfusion syndrome, which includes the next two complications.
With reperfusion syndrome, the main issue is that the compression of the muscles leads to muscle and tissue death. As this happens, the cells rupture and release myoglobin. Myoglobin is toxic and may lead to renal failure.
As the dying muscle cells rupture, they also release potassium. Potassium may rise quickly, leading to trouble with the heart. It’s not uncommon to see severe arrhythmias as the potassium levels increase. If the heart fails completely, it has to be restarted quickly to prevent death.
Crushing injuries can happen in truck accidents because of the large difference between the weights of the two vehicles. Those who are crashed in crashes should stay where they are and wait for help before trying to relieve the pressure, so they can get emergency treatment at the time reperfusion occurs.