Crush injuries can be deceptively dangerous

The injuries don’t appear life-threatening. They could be wounded legs and arms, caused by being pinned under falling debris from the earthquake.

But for some in Haiti, who are pulled out alive from the rubble, another medical emergency awaits them. Days later these crush injuries can cause kidney failure then death, experts say.

Kidney failure has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the most urgent public health concerns in Haiti following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

“If head injuries are the hallmark of the war in Afghanistan, the Haiti earthquake will be known for crush injuries,” said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent reporting from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

The condition, known as rhabdomyolysis, occurs when muscles have been crushed.