Wound Care – Part 11 “Crush Injuries”
To continue on with our Wound Care First Aid technique’s lets focus on Crush or Crushing Injuries. A “Crush Injury” occurs when there is a great deal of pressure on a part of the body or the body as a whole. This injury can be caused by numerous objects or even substances like “Grain in a Grain Silo, Sand, large heavy objects or even swaddling an infant to tight” . Grain Entrapment & Crush Syndrome are also something to consider as they are closely related to crush injuries and can be fatal, always take Crush Injuries seriously as there may be hidden or “Internal Injuries / Bleeding” that you may not be aware of.
- – Often caused by being squeezed between two heavy or immobile objects, or having a large amount of pressure forced against the body by an unmovable substance like grain or sand.
- -Be familiar with your surroundings
- -Be familiar with your equipment and get trained in its proper use.
- -Make sure your equipment is in good, safe, working order.
- -Follow safety procedures
- –STAY ALERT
- -Never let children play around Grain Silos, Construction Sites, or Sand Pits
What it Looks Like:
- -Person trapped or still being crushed under objects or between two objects.
- -Possible wounds that look depressed or split at the edges.
- -Signs of internal bleeding
- -Pain, tightness in the chest with shortness of breath.
How to Help:
1) Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / Circulation” REMEMBER – Wear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids. **If the object or substance is crushing the persons head, neck, chest or abdomen or they can not breath “Remove it Immediately“, if the object is only crushing a limb “Leave the object where it is until EMS Personnel arrive.”**
2) Call 911 if you suspect the injuries could be severe, if there are airway could be blocked or there is excessive bleeding. Always call 911 for an crushing injury, there could be internal injuries that could lead to the situation becoming fatal.
3) Care for the Crush Injuries by:
***Only remove the object or the Victim from the object if their Airway could be compromised***
- -Never Transport the victim on your own from a Crushing Injure, always wait for Advanced Medical Professionals to assist in removing the victim from the object or objects. The persons condition may worsen even after removing the object, this may lead to “Crushing Syndrome” and may be fatal. Always consult Medical Professionals.
Crush Syndrome is a compression of extremities or other parts of the body that causes muscle swelling and/or neurological disturbances in the affected areas of the body, this may lead to systemic manifestations or even systemic shock that can become fatal. Advanced Medical Professionals are always needed for Crushing Syndrome and should never be taken lightly. Amputation of the trapped body part may also be necessary, other injuries associated with Crushing Syndrome may include “Compartmental Syndrome”
Grain Entrapment is when a person is submerged under or partially submerged into a mass amount of grain “Fell in a grain Silo”. The movement of the grain can restrain the victim and make escape impossible without assistance, plus the added weight of the grain may prevent the victim from breathing and can lead to suffocation. For these reasons it is never permissible to allow children to play around grain silo’s and you should always use the buddy system to ensure there is a second way to escape.
We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.
“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!