Thursday, 21 January 2016

First aid brushup: Wound management - Crush injury

These injuries are potentially very serious: where a major muscle mass has been compressed for an hour or more, significant toxins will build up.  When the pressure is released, these toxins can enter the bloodstream and cause severe illness or death.

Image from here


Be particularly alert for restriction of blood flow to a major muscle mass for an hour or more.  The casualty may complain of numbness or tingling at the crush site.  They may also show signs of shock, and there may be swelling, bruising or rigidity.


An ambulance should be called and resuscitation performed if required.

If there is reason to suspect the casualty has been crushed for an hour or more, do not remove the object without a medical team present as this may release the toxins.  In other cases, remove the crushing force without delay if this is physically possible.  Bleeding should be controlled and the casualty kept warm.


As with other posts in this series, the information supplied is from Kym Eden's Fun with First Aid (2013).

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