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A look at crush injuries and crush syndrome

Many industries in California task workers with handling or working in the vicinity of extremely heavy objects. For example, road construction involves the use of equipment weighing several tons. Bridge construction often means working underneath massive steel and concrete structures. If an accident occurs in either of these scenarios, serious injuries are likely to occur.

Crush injuries and crush syndrome can be fatal or catastrophic to workers. A crush injury occurs if a heavy object crushes one or more parts of the body. It can lead to crush syndrome if the victim remains compressed for several hours. For example, if emergency personnel cannot get to the victim quickly, it increases the risk of crush syndrome.

To help you understand how serious crushing workplace injuries are, here are some medical facts:

  • As the crush injury happens, it damages cells immediately.
  • Crush syndrome is possible when extremities or other parts of the body are crushed or compressed.
  • After just one hour of compression, the contents of the victim's cells -- including toxic substances -- usually begin to leak into nearby tissues.
  • These substances (potassium, purines, myoglobin, etc) can increase the risk of cardiac arrest, renal failure and respiratory distress.
  • The longer the victim remains compressed, the more likely it is that crush syndrome will occur.

As you can see, the initial workplace injuries represent just a small fraction of the possible health complications crush injuries can cause. You have the right to compensation in the face of serious workplace injuries, and an attorney can help you seek the workers' comp benefits you deserve.

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