How Is Accident At Work Diagnosed?
It is imperative that health care professionals recognise crush syndrome (a medical condition characterised by major shock) to avoid missing a narrow window of time in which to administer fluid resuscitation. A simple but rapid test can be done to diagnose this using a standard urine dipstick. Casualties of an accident at work should have continuous cardiac monitoring and evaluation for signs of hyperkalemia (an elevated level of potassium in the blood). Hyperkalemia can cause abnormal heart rhythm which can result in cardiac arrest and ultimately death.
The release of myoglobin into the circulation system will need to be considered when there have been significant muscle injuries. It can collect in the kidneys faster than it can be eliminated so monitoring is essential.
Fractures are usually recognised by doctors after an x-ray has been conducted although some fractures don’t show up on an x-ray. In such a scenario a doctor would request other tests such as a CT (computed tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan or bone scan. Occasionally even after a fracture has been diagnosed other tests may be required to determine if tissues around the bone have been damaged in any way.
A traditional method of diagnosing compartment syndrome (a pressure build up within muscles) are the 5 or 6 Ps;
- Pallor (pale in appearance)
- Paresthesia (numbness or tingling)
- Poikilothermia (inability to regulate temperature)
If compartment syndrome is suspected having observed the Ps above a compartment pressure measure test is conducted. A doctor will test by inserting a needle into the muscle which is connected to a pressure monitor. If left untreated it can cause permanent damage or worse still the need to amputate. It is important to note that compartment syndrome symptoms often have a delay in presentation. You may be sent home from hospital after an initial physical examination but it’s not until you’re home that symptoms start. It is crucial therefore that the medical team explain what symptoms to look out for and therefore to return immediately if symptoms do start to present themselves.
Energetic and timely diagnosis will save limbs and also lives.
Minor crush injuries tend to heal without the need for medical attention, the symptoms are relatively milder and the recovery time much quicker. However, should the pain felt become more intense and swelling not start to reduce then it is important to seek medical advice.
We provide advice and support to those who have suffered an injury in their line of work or have received an incorrect diagnosis leading to further complications. Our expert team of solicitors will listen to your situation and assess the likelihood of making a successful claim.
Contact us today for free, no obligation advice regarding your Accident At Work claim – either by calling us free on 0800 028 2060, or by requesting a free call back, whereby one of our team will contact you at a time of your choosing to discuss your situation. When you contact us you are under no obligation to continue with the case unless you wish to do so.
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