Crush injuries almost always have an intense physical impact on the victim. After all, a crush injury involves part – or the entirety – of a victim’s body ending up pinned, run over or crushed by a larger or heavier object.
Infections in extremities
Up To Date discusses the potential lethal impacts of a crush injury. As mentioned, crush injuries involving the trunk or torso and the extremities often have different primary risks.
For injuries to the extremities, the risk often comes in the form of infection. When the hands, arms, legs or feet end up crushed, it is easy for blood and oxygen to deplete in the affected areas quickly. This can lead to rapid necrosis and cell death, i.e. a die-off of tissue in the area.
With the tissue dead, bacteria have an easy in. Many victims end up infected with gangrene, which can result in later amputations. Sometimes, serious blood infections like sepsis may also occur. The most serious form of sepsis, septic shock, can take a life in under 72 hours.
Systematic organ failure and shutdown
As for torso injuries, a victim’s primary concern will usually focus on the organs. Organ failure can occur quickly in the case of low or high blood pressure or a lack of oxygen. Organs that have to work too hard to compensate for the failure of other organs may also begin to shut down or fail, leading to a chain reaction.
Either of these issues can cause death quickly, which is why it is important to get crush injury victims help as soon as possible.