Crush injuries may result from many situations, including vehicle accidents, workplace accident, falling debris or by prolonged pressure to a part of the body due to their own body weight in an immobile casualty.

The likelihood of developing acute crush syndrome is directly related to the compression time, therefore the casualty should be released as quickly as possible, irrespective of how long they have been trapped. Crush syndrome results from the disruption of the body’s chemistry and can cause heart, breathing & kidney failure.


  • Follow the Basic First Aid Plan to assess the casualty.
  • Ensure the scene is safe, and that there is no risk of injury to the rescuer or bystanders.
  • Call an ambulance.
  • If it is safe and physically possible, all crushing forces should be removed from the casualty as soon as possible.
  • A casualty with a crush injury may not complain of pain, and there may be no external signs of injury.
  • Keep the casualty warm, treat any bleeding.
  • Continue to monitor the casualties condition. If the casualty becomes unresponsive and is not breathing normally, start CPR.

DO NOT leave the casualty except if necessary to call an ambulance. DO NOT use a tourniquet for the first aid management of a crush injury.


A crushing force which is applied to the head, neck, chest or abdominal area’s can cause death from breathing or heart failure. The crushing force must be removed immediately.