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Did you suffer a crush injury in a car accident?

In some car accidents, the wreckage is such that emergency responders are unable to get you out of your vehicle for some time. If you also happen to be pinned in the vehicle, you could suffer from a crush injury.

The longer it takes to free you from your vehicle, the worse the situation becomes. Without the proper emergency care both before and after emergency responders extricate you from the wreckage, your injury could threaten your life.

Crush injuries

Your crush injury most likely occurred when the impact slammed a portion of the vehicle onto your legs or torso. This situation can be dangerous since you could suffer from the following:

  • Rupture of internal organs
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Major bone fractures or breaks

The longer you remain trapped in your vehicle, the greater the risk that you could suffer from crush syndrome, which can be fatal.

Crush syndrome

If you remain trapped for four or more hours, you could suffer from crush syndrome, which involves the following:

  • Ruptured muscle cells
  • Ruptured blood cells
  • Lack of oxygen to the affected area
  • Loss of blood supply to muscles

Your muscles can survive up to four hours without proper circulation, but muscle death can still occur in as little as one hour. Once the tissue dies, it releases harmful toxins. When emergency responders extricate you from the wreckage and relieve the pressure, those toxins can rush throughout your body and cause significant harm.

Emergency medical treatment

Emergency medical personnel will conduct an assessment looking for the following:

  • Your condition and position in the vehicle
  • The extent of your body involved
  • The extent of the damage to the area
  • The force of the compression and its duration
  • Any other injuries you suffered
  • Your age and overall health

They will also look for the following symptoms of crush syndrome:

  • Skin discoloration and bruising
  • Possible lack of pulse
  • Rapid swelling once freed
  • Excruciating pain once freed

If there is any possibility you could suffer from crush syndrome, EMTs and paramedics will attempt to begin emergency treatment even before freeing you since your condition could rapidly deteriorate thereafter. Once at the hospital, your treatment continues. It could be some time before medical personnel ascertain any lasting effects.

The aftermath

If you suffer from a crush injury and/or crush syndrome after an accident, you probably face a significant time in recovery. It may take some time to determine whether you suffer from any permanent issues because of your injuries. In any case, your life will most certainly be disrupted, if even temporarily.

You may exercise your right to file a personal injury claim against the party deemed responsible for your injuries in an attempt to receive compensation for your injuries and financial lossesduring this time.