How to Treat a Crushing Injury

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The treatment of a crushing injury usually requires medical attention. However, minor crushing injuries are treatable with home remedies. It’s important that you know what to do in case of an emergency crushing injury. Crushing injuries occur frequently in car accidents, falls and aggressive sports. Minor crushing injuries frequently happen at home. When you slam your finger in a car door or get your hand slammed by a drawer, you experience a minor crushing injury. While severe crushing injuries need medical attention, there are some things you can do until help arrives.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Antibiotic healing ointment or antiseptic spray
  • Ice pack
  • Clean towels
  • Pillows
  • Clean the area of a minor crush injury with antibacterial soap and warm water. If the skin broke during the compression, apply pressure with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops. Apply an antibiotic healing ointment or antiseptic spray to the broken skin.

  • Put an ice pack on the crushed area immediately. Elevate the area so that it rests above your heart. Put your foot or hand on a stack of pillows. This helps prevent major swelling and bruising. When the injured area returns to normal, resume normal function of that body part.

  • Call for emergency medical attention for severe crushing injuries. A severe injury is any injury with bleeding, broken bones, major swelling and bruising, or an injury where you can’t breathe.

  • Stay calm or help keep a loved one calm during a severe crushing injury. If the injury caused a broken bone or severe swelling, apply ice until medical help arrives. Wrap any compound fractures gently with a towel to stop the bleeding.

  • Go to the emergency room if you experience a crushing injury that doesn’t need immediate medical attention. A doctor will take x-rays and possibly give you medication to prevent infection.

  • See a doctor if the area of a crushing injury swells severely or seems to have blood pooling underneath the surface of the skin. This condition is compartment syndrome, and it requires minor surgery to release the pressure building underneath the skin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don’t move anyone with a severe crushing injury, especially an injury of the neck or back. Keep them calm and wait for help to arrive.
  • Don’t assume that a minor crushing injury is no big deal. Any crushing injury is at risk for infection, so monitor the area for a few days and make sure it doesn’t turn green or continue to swell.
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