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What is Rhabdomyolysis – Symptoms and Treatment

85 percent of people suffering from major traumatic injuries experience a relatively rare condition of muscle tissue damage. It is called Rhabdomyolysis. Reliable estimates of people suffering from this condition in the United States are not available. In 15 percent patients, complications of acute kidney failure is observed. This complication is responsible for 20 percent deaths associated with the condition.

Symptoms of Rhabdomyolysis: Any factor which van cause damage to the skeletal muscle can cause this condition. They can be classified as physical, chemical and biological by nature. Some of the signs to watch out for are:

  • Strain
  • Muscle injury
  • Weakness
  • Tenderness
  • Pain in the tissue
  • Swelling at muscle site or edema
  • Shock caused by reduction of fluid in the bloodstream
  • Low blood pressure
  • Compartment syndrome – Compression of blood vessels, nerves and muscle inside a closed space within the body leading the death of a tissue
  • Decreased blood supply
  • Pain in the limbs
  • Reduction in the sensation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • Dark urine
  • Reduction in the Urine production
  • Clotting of blood

The above Rhabdomyolysis symptoms can be diagnosed precisely by finding the level of the enzyme creatine kinase (CK) in the blood. It is released in the body when a tissue gets damaged. It is generally advised to go for this test on suffering any trauma or crash injury to rule out the possibility of this condition.

Treatment of Rhabdomyolysis: The main aim of the treatment is to address the condition of shock and preserve the kidneys from getting affected. Fluids in the form of saline should be given to the patients through the veins even before they are taken from the site of injury. 6 to 12 liters are recommended to be given within a period of 24 hours to avoid complications.

Raise in calcium levels in the blood is seen in 20-30 percent patients with failed kidneys. When such undesirable circumstance arise, the technique of renal replacement therapy is opted.

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