Crush injuries are dangerous and often result in organ failure and death. Treating the intense bodily trauma also comes with the risk of sepsis.
Our accident attorneys in Houston understand the medical complexities of crush injuries. At Adame Garza, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients and ensuring they are taken care of emotionally, medically, and financially.
What Are Crush Injuries?
Crush injuries are caused by extreme physical damage to the upper body or extremities, usually resulting in tissue death. Typically, a sudden act of force or intense, prolonged pressure will cause the development of necrotic tissue.
Crush injuries are most associated with:
- Catastrophic accidents
- Truck accidents
- Work accidents
- Construction accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Heavy Machinery accidents
The above is not an exhaustive list of accidents that lead to crush injuries in Texas. There are many different ways people can sustain serious crush injuries.
What Are Some Examples of Crush Injuries?
Far too often, the news reports a truck accident or workplace accident that has caused critical crush injuries. Due to the severity and unique nature of the damage, crush injuries are often fatal.
Delivery Worker Loses Leg Due to Crush Injuries
A young man recently had his leg severed in a truck accident that caused severe crush injuries. The delivery worker was unpacking his truck outside of a residential home when a Toyota minivan plowed into the back of the parked vehicle.
The worker was crushed between the van and the back of the delivery truck, severing his leg. First responders rushed the man to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery, where he remains in critical condition.
Texas Worker Crushed in Truck Accident
In Pharr, Texas, a mechanic has lost his life after suffering extensive crush injuries. According to news reports, an Ashley Furniture box trailer came loose and fell on the mechanic while he was working underneath the carriage.
Fire Rescue Services and Paramedics responded to the call at the Penske Truck Rental. The mechanic succumbed to crush injuries shortly after removing the box trailer.
Why Are Crush Injuries Often Deadly?
Crush injuries are devastating, leading to massive internal damage. Crush injuries are caused by intense, extended pressure on the extremities or by a sudden and violent force. In many cases, victims can develop crush syndrome.
Sudden Extreme Force
Most crush injuries are caused by sudden and extreme blunt force trauma. Imagine a tractor-trailer striking a pedestrian in the street and pinning them against another vehicle. The abrupt force of the large truck hitting the pedestrian can cause their bones to shatter.
Bones will break and fracture easily from sudden and extreme force. Open fractures, where the bones splinter and protrude through the body, are notorious for developing infections and clots.
Intense, Extended Pressure
Crush injuries can be caused by the intense and extended compression of body parts. Typically, the torso and extremities are the most vulnerable to prolonged compression.
Extended pressure on limbs and the upper body will slowly cut off the flow of blood. Blood carries much-needed oxygen to every part of the human body. When tissue is deprived of oxygen for too long, it will begin to die:
- Amputations and loss of limb: Dying tissue is also called necrotic tissue. Muscles and organs can become overwhelmed by the necrotic tissue, suffering irreparable damage. If the blood flow isn’t restored within six hours, crush injury victims may lose their arms or legs.
For example, victims can become trapped in the rubble after a truck accident. Paramedics are not always able to restore the blood flow to the compressed limbs before muscle death. When this occurs, arms and legs may need to be amputated at the scene or in emergency surgery.
- Organ Failure: Necrotic tissue of the organs is often fatal. Multiple systems in the body depend on the same set of organs. If an organ is deprived of oxygen for too long and begins to fail, several bodily systems will fail in a domino effect.
For instance, the digestive and endocrine systems share the pancreas. The pancreas breaks down food into nutrients for the digestive system. In addition, the pancreas produces insulin and glucagon to regulate blood sugar. If the pancreas fails, the necrotic tissue can travel through the blood and infect other organs.
Heart and kidney damage is most commonly associated with crush injuries. The heart pumps blood throughout the body, and the kidneys are tasked with cleansing the blood of toxins. As muscle tissue begins to die, the necrotic tissue will release toxins and can overwhelm the kidneys, leading to crushing syndrome.
Crush syndrome refers to the release of toxins into the bloodstream after prolonged oxygen deprivation. Considered a medical paradox, oxygen in the blood can lead to limb loss and organ failure, whether blood flow has been deprived or restored.
Dying tissue releases toxins into the bloodstream. During prolonged compression, the toxins will continuously build up. When blood flow is finally restored, a substantial amount of toxins will overwhelm the body.
Contact a Crush Injuries Attorney in Houston
Crush injuries are extremely dangerous due to the risk of sepsis and multiple organ failure. While first responders try to reduce the risk of infection and restore the flow of blood to the affected body parts, doing so can result in crush syndrome.
If you or a loved one have suffered crush injuries in an accident, please contact Adame Garza. We will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with one of our Houston crush injury lawyers today.