A crush injury occurs when force or pressure is put on a body part. This type of injury most often happens when part of the body is squeezed between two heavy objects.
Damage related to crush injuries include:
Steps for first aid treatment of a crush injury are:
- 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.
- If there is suspicion of a head, neck, or spinal injury, immobilize those areas if possible and then limit movement to only the crushed area.
- Call your local emergency number (such as 911) or local hospital for further advice.
Crush injuries most often need to be evaluated in a hospital emergency department. Surgery may be needed.
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Review Date 11/13/2021
Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.