Trucking crashes are some of the most dangerous because of the differences in weight between passenger vehicles and large trucks. If a smaller vehicle is hit, it’s likely that the people inside will be badly hurt or killed.
In many cases involving passenger vehicles, crushing injuries are seen. Crush injuries happen when the body is crushed by being compressed between two surfaces. For instance, if the front end of the vehicle is crushed, the people in the front seat may have crushing injuries to their feet or legs.
What makes crushing injuries more dangerous than some other types?
Crushing injuries are more extensive than other kinds of broken bones or tissue damage, because the soft tissue, nerves and bones are crushed significantly. Bones broken in this way may not be able to be held in place even when using surgical tools, meaning that amputation may be the only alternative. Minor crush injuries tend to heal on their own, but moderate or severe injuries may require hospitalization.
Another major risk of crush injuries is compartment syndrome. This is a syndrome that develops as a result of the swelling and bleeding around the injury. The blood and swelling fills up the muscle space and causes high pressure to build. This can stop the blood from flowing, leading to tissue damage, permanent injury or death in some cases.
Releasing a crushed body part can be deadly
Another major issue with crushing injuries is the toxic chemical release that happens when the body part has the pressure taken off of it. Interestingly, the patient may not feel very severely injured, but when the body part has the pressure removed, toxins from the breakdown of muscle and tissues release. Shock is likely, because lactic acid, histamine, thromboplastin, potassium and other chemicals build up and suddenly release throughout the body.
If a crushing injury is suspected in a collision, everyone should wait for the emergency medical team to arrive to remove the patient and treat the potential for shock immediately. Anyone who survives a crushing injury is likely to have lasting pain and complications, at least in the short term. Some may require amputations, while others may have many months, or years, of recovery ahead of them.