Crush Injuries

Crush injuries occur when body tissues are severely traumatized such as in motor vehicle accidents, falls, and gun shot wounds.  These injuries frequently occur in the extremities.  When crush injuries are severe, the rate of complications such as infection, non-healing of fractures, and amputations range up to 50%.

When used as an adjunct to orthopedic surgery and antibiotics, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy shows promise as a way to decrease complications from severe crush injuries.  HBO2 increases oxygen delivery to the injured tissues, reduces swelling and provides an improved environment for healing and fighting infection.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatments should be started as soon after an injury as possible.  They are usually continued for 5 to 6 days.  A number of related conditions, including compartment syndromes, thermal burns, and threatened replantations are also benefited by hyperbaric oxygen, as discussed in other sections in this site.