Definition – What does Crushing mean?
Crushing is the result of pressure from a heavy object onto a body part, or the compression of the body part. Crushing is often referred to as a crush injury. A crush injury will often manifest as a cut on the skin, bruising, open wounds, bleeding, fractures, stoppage or poor circulation of blood, breakdown of muscles, muscle swelling or neurological troubles in the affected body parts. Crushing may further cause tissue damage, organ dysfunction, dehydration and metabolic abnormalities, gangrene or may even cause death.
HSSE WORLD Explains Crushing
Crushing occurs when force or heavy pressure is applied on a body part. Crushing can follow the collapse of a structure in a manmade or natural disaster, bombing and explosion or even during a road transport accident. Crushing is often accompanied by a cut, open wound, bleeding, bruising, muscle, nerve, blood vessel or tissue damage, fracture, laceration, nerve injury, broken bone. In some cases, the affected body part may have to be amputated to save the patient from gangrene and potential death.
First aid for a crushing patient would be the following actions in sequence:
- Stoppage of bleeding
- Covering the affected body part by a wet cloth or bandage
- Raising the body part above the level of the heart
- Limit movement of the patient in case of head or spinal injury
- Seek medical assistance
Crushing injuries in the workplace may be prevented by proper training for workers in the use of instruments, tools and machines. Awareness programs for employees at risk may also be effective. Sufficient warning signs and use of appropriate PPE can also reduce the damage.