|Crush injuries generally result from serious car accidents or explosions. There may be part of the body trapped under heavy debris; several broken bones, multiple external bleeding and much internal bleeding; burns form explosion; severe shock, deterioration into unconsciousness. If the person is impaled on an immovable object, treatment is similar to that for a foreign object embedded in wound. An amputation is where a part of the body has been severed. This may occur through a straight and heavy cut or through twisting and pulling under extreme force.
TREATING CRUSH INJURIES
- Ensure that it is safe to approach the scene. If in doubt, call 911 and wait for help.
- Monitor and maintain airway and breathing and be prepared to resuscitate
- Treat major bleeding and cover smaller wounds with sterile dressings.
- Keep the injured person still dressings.
- Keep the injured person still and try to reassure him or her while waiting for help.
- Treat for shock.
- Make an early call for an ambulance and inform medical staff what has happened.
IF THE INJURED PERSON IS TRAPPED
There are additional risks for the injured person if any part of the body is trapped. Releasing the body may bring on severe shock as fluid leaks to the injured part.
An even greater cause of concerns is “crush syndrome.” Toxins build up around the injury site are trapped by an object crushing the person. If the object is removed, these toxins are suddenly released into the body, and kidneys, the organs chiefly responsible for flushing out toxins, are overwhelmed. This condition may be fatal.
IF THE PERSON HAS BEEN TRAPPED FOR LESS THAN 10 MINUTES
Crush syndrome takes some time to develop. If you can do so, safely remove the object. Treat as for crush injuries.
IF THE PERSON HAS BEEN TRAPPED FOR LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES
Make an early call for help, explaining the situation, but do not remove the object. Treat as for crush injuries and reassure the person.
- Do not attempt to remove the object or to move the injured person.
- Provide swift assistance for the injured person, supporting his body weight where possible to prevent any further damage.
- If bleeding is severe, apply pressure around the edges of the wound without pressing on the object.
- Try to stop the object moving around as much as possible, enlisting bystander support where available.
- Call an ambulance, making sure that you explain the need for cutting equipment tools.
- Treat for shock as best you can.
1. Your priority is to stop any bleeding at the site of the injury. Apply direct pressure and raise the injured stump. An amputation high on the arm or leg can be accompanied by severe arterial bleeding, particularly if caused by a twisting or tearing movement. Be prepared to apply continuous pressure using several pads as necessary.
2. If the bleeding comes under control, cover the wound with a sterile dressing or clean non-fluffy material tied in place with a bandage.
3. Treat for shock and reassure the person.
4. Call 911, advising that there is an amputation.
FOR THE AMPUTED PART
A surgeon may be able to reattach amputated part.
Label the container with the time of injury and the victim’s name and make sure that you personally hand it over to medical staff.
- Wrap the part in a plastic and wrap the bag in a clean cloth.
- Place the cloth-wrapped bag in ice and place into a sturdy container. Do not let the ice come into close contact with the amputated part, because this will damage the flesh. Do not wash the amputated part.