Crush Injuries, Impalement and amputation
Crush injuries generally result from serious car accidents or explosions. There may be part of the body stuck under heavy debris; several broken bones, multiple external bleeding and much internal bleeding; burns from an explosion; severe shock, and deterioration into unconsciousness. If a person is impaled on an immovable object, treatment is similar to that for a foreign object embedded in a 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
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 for concern is 'crush syndrome'. Toxins build up around the injury site and are trapped by an object crushing the person. If the object is removed, these are suddenly released into the body, and the kidneys, the organs chiefly responsible for flushing out toxins, cannot cope. This condition can 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 above.
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 above and reassure the person.
For the amputated part
A surgeon may be able to reattach the amputated part.
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