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What is toxic crush syndrome?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2020 | workers' compensation |

If you work in a warehouse or similar environment, you likely encounter large and heavy objects every day. If one of them falls on you, you may find yourself trapped beneath something you cannot move. Eventually, you may develop a serious condition: toxic crush syndrome.

Toxic crush syndrome (TCC), also called rhabdomyolysis, is a potentially life-threatening medical condition that often occurs when a heavy object crushes a person. While you can likely pursue workers’ compensation benefits for any injury you sustain at work, you should work closely with a doctor to determine whether you are at risk for TCC.

The difference between a crush injury and TCC

Any time a heavy object compresses part of your body, you are at risk of developing a crush injury. This type of injury involves localized damage to the crushed section of your body.

If you have a crush injury, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • Bone fractures
  • Muscle injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Bruises
  • Paralysis
  • Local organ injuries

TCC is typically more serious than a crush injury, however. If you develop TCC, you are likely to sustain injuries outside the immediate crush zone. This is particularly true if you remain trapped for a long period of time. Specifically, you may experience systemic kidney or other organ failure.

Even worse, the health consequences of TCC may sneak up on you. That is, you may believe you are on the road to recovery only to take a significant and potentially deadly downturn. If you do not receive immediate care, you may develop sepsis, renal failure or other serious medical complications.

Treatment for TCC

While doctors do not yet fully understand TCC, they do have some options for treating the condition. Physicians often focus on organ health, hoping to contain organ damage through targeted hydration and other procedures. Accordingly, if you have TCC, you may need specialist care.

Even though TCC is often treatable with intensive medical care, the condition’s side effects may last a lifetime. Therefore, if you have a work-related crush injury, you must not leave your health to chance. Finding a doctor who understands the condition and knows how to treat it is the first step.