Crush injury

Definition

 A crush injury occurs when force or pressure is put on a body part. This type of injury most often happens when part of the body is squeezed between two heavy objects.

Damage related to crush injuries include:

First Aid

Steps for first aid treatment of a crush injury are:

  • Stop bleeding by applying direct pressure.
  • Cover the area with a wet cloth or bandage. Then, raise the area above the level of the heart, if possible.
  • If there is suspicion of a head, neck, or spinal injury, immobilize those areas if possible and then limit movement to only the crushed area.
  • Call your local emergency number (such as 911) or local hospital for further advice.

Crush injuries most often need to be evaluated in a hospital emergency department. Surgery may be needed.

References

Ingrassia PL, Mangini M, Ragazzoni L, Djatali A, Della Corte F. Introduction to structural collapse (crush injury and crush syndrome). In: Ciottone GR, ed. Ciottone's Disaster Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 180.

Tang N, Bright L. Tactical emergency medical support and urban search and rescue. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap e4.

Review Date: 
10/16/2017
Reviewed By: 
Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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