This research paper was conducted around the topics of crush syndrome and amputation, which depending on the severity of the crush can coincide with one another. This paper will discuss various medical aspects, treatment, assessment, psychosocial/psychological issues and some research data pertaining earthquakes related to amputation and crush syndrome. Crush injuries can occur through the means of a natural disaster, acts of war, traffic collisions, as well as industrial accidents. Crush syndrome differs from a crush injury depending on the longevity of the prolonged and continuous pressure on the muscles and limbs. It is characterized by hypovolemic shock, which is an emergency condition in which severe blood and fluid loss make the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body. Crush syndrome is also characterized by hyperkalemia, acute renal failure and muscle necrosis (Donmez, D. Meral, A. Yavuz, M. Durmaz, O., 2001). A crush injury is the compression of extremities and body parts causing localized muscle and nerve damage. Crush syndrome is the presence of localized crush injury with systemic manifestations. The original cases of crush syndrome were reported during Sicilian earthquake in Messina in 1909, and in 1940 they reported that there was relationship between crush syndrome and acute renal failure (Donmez, D. Meral, A. Yavuz, M. Durmaz, O.,2001).
With natural disasters on the rise and happening more frequently than in the past crush syndrome is a disability that has started to become more popular. There have been over 281 earthquakes that have occurred in 58 countries in the time span between 1996 and 2005 (Revati, P. Reinhardt, J. Marx, M., 2011). The amount of people injured far exceeds the people who have died. Many earthquakes are also happening in developing countries like Asia and Haiti. Medical treatment is hard to find when an earthquake strikes. Amputees created from the Haiti earthquake in 2010 are 110, 000 and is still growing to this day. Health workers say that more than 75 people a day have continued to loose limbs since the earthquake due to initial injuries or because of secondary infections and gangrene. The Haiti earthquake may be considered the largest ever loss of limbs from a single natural disaster. The increasing toll has triggered a call to action for prosthetics manufacturers and suppliers, as well as amputee advocates in the United States (Aleccia, JoNel). There were some cases where emergency operations were performed with chainsaws, which left little concern for preserving a person’s nerves or flesh. “From the fittings and supply of prosthetics to ongoing adjustments, repairs and replacements, the demand for artificial limbs will be intense, expensive and long lasting (Aleccia, JoNel). Each device costs between $4,000 and $6,000 per amputee. In the United States a new amputee gets around four fittings a year to make sure the device is comfortable and works correctly. An engineering professor, Gonzalez has created a easy durable, cost efficient artificial leg that can repaired with nuts and bold from the hardware store. It costs $15 to make, compared to $2,000 for the cheapest leg in the United States. It is also made so that it could withstand a rugged ground, dirt, heat and humidity that can found in places like Haiti (Aleccia, JoNel). Several physical therapy sessions are also needed to assist the patients in learning how to adjust the way they walk and other bodily movements in using their new limbs. Some groups are trying to make it easier for people in Haiti as well as other developing countries to get limbs by setting up small shops where prosthetics can be made locally (Aleccia, JoNel). Medical Aspects of Crush Syndrome
Symptoms begin to appear after several days, which include renal failure along with tea-colored urine. Crushed limbs usually have patchy numbness and the skin can be bruised and discolored but is usually intact. Crush injuries to the abdomen can...
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