DDRC Healthcare, Plymouth, Devon

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Crush Injury, Compartment Syndrome and other acute traumatic ischemia’s

Crush injuries are caused when a force or pressure is put on a part of the body often caused when the body is squeezed between two heavy objects.  A crush injury can cause bleeding, bruising, fractured bone/s, open wound, nerve injury, infection or compartment syndrome.

Compartment syndrome is caused following the initial crush injury and bleeding occurs into the muscle compartment.  Thick layers of fascia separate groups of muscles to the arms and legs, inside this facia is a space called the compartment which includes muscle tissue, nerves and blood vessels.  The fascia does not expand therefore any bleeding into the space will cause the compartment to be blocked, if the pressure is high enough it can cause permanent damage to the muscles and nerves, if the pressure continues long enough the muscle can die causing the arm or leg to no longer work.  Surgery is often the immediate treatment which can be coincided with hyperbaric oxygen therapy as it improves the circulation of oxygenated blood to wounds to help fight infection, reduce swelling, and promote healing.

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