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First Aid Subject – Crush Injury

Crush Injury:


A crush injury has occurred when a body part has been subjected to a high degree of force or pressure, usually after being squeezed between two heavy objects. This subject is taught in our First Aid at Work and First Responder training courses.

Crush injuries mainly occur on building sites, industrial sites, construction areas, storage warehouses and in road accidents. They can affect the blood flow to a limb. When the flow of blood to an area is restricted by a heavy weight, there is the danger of a build-up of toxins within the muscle below the site of the crushing weight.

If the blood flow is restricted or impaired for more than 15 minutes, toxins can be released into the rest of the body and cause kidney failure. This process called ‘Crush Syndrome’ and the patient is at a high risk of death.


For crushing less than 15 minutes:

  • Release the weight as quickly as you can, if safe to do so.
  • Dial 999 / 112
  • Control any bleeding.
  • Treat for shock.

For crushing more than 15 minutes:

  • DO NOT release the weight.
  • Dial 999 / 112
  • Monitor patient (AVPU)


  • DO NOT release the weight if crushed for more than 15 minutes, wait arrival of the Emergency Medical Services.

We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch if you have any questions on this subject or would like to talk through your training options with our team of experts.

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