A crush injury occurs when a body part is subjected to a high degree of force or pressure, usually after being squeezed between two heavy objects.
Damage related to crush injuries include:
- Compartment syndrome (increased pressure in an arm or leg that causes serious muscle, nerve, blood vessel, and tissue damage)
- Laceration (open wound)
- Nerve injury
- Secondary infection
- Smashed fingers
- Stop bleeding by applying direct pressure.
- Cover the area with a wet cloth or bandage, then raise the area above the level of the heart, if possible.
- Call your local emergency number (such as 911) or local hospital for further advice.
Crush injuries usually require emergency department evaluation, and surgery may be needed to fully correct and treat the problem.
Review Date: 1/8/2012
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.