What is crush syndrome?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Car Accidents

In a motor vehicle accident, it is possible to develop crush syndrome or rhabdomyolysis. This is a serious syndrome that occurs when muscle fibers begin to die. As the muscle fibers die, they release contents into the blood stream that may cause kidney failure because the kidneys cannot remove the waste.

According to WebMD, the key to recovery is to treat rhabdomyolysis as right away.

Symptoms of crush syndrome

Sometimes, it is difficult to diagnose rhabdomyolysis. The symptoms can vary. Sometimes, your symptoms affect the entire body, whereas in other instances, you may only experience symptoms in an isolated area of the body.

The triad of crush syndrome symptoms include muscle pain in the shoulders, lower back and thighs. You may experience difficulty moving your limbs or notice dark red or brown urine. Other signs include nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and confusion or lack of consciousness.

To diagnose crush syndrome, or rhabdomyolysis, doctors may perform a blood test for creatine kinase. Creatine kinase occurs when your muscles break down.

Treatment of crush syndrome

Most physicians try to treat crush syndrome as quickly as possible. Early treatment yields more positive results. First, you may be treated with IV fluids to help prevent kidney failure. In severe cases, you may require dialysis treatment. Doctors will also manage your electrolyte abnormalities to protect your organs.

You may require surgical intervention. The surgery is to relieve the pressure and tension if you have compartment syndrome that threatens to cause nerve damage or muscle death. You may have to be in the ICU under intense monitoring.