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Sodium Bicarbonate & Crush Injury

Shortly after paramedic school, I responded to a farm accident. A farmer had rolled his tractor and he was now pinned underneath it from about waist down. You could tell he was in quite a bit of pain, but he just kept saying "get this damn thing off me."

"When did this happen?" - Me

"Literally 10 minutes ago!" - Farmer

I assumed the firefighters would use an airbag or something to lift the tractor up and free the legs, I thought back to every crush injury simulation in paramedic school. The instructor always told us to push sodium bicarbonate before we remove the object that the patient is being crushed by. Is there any merit to this?

The Anatomy of a Crush