Rhabdomyolysis - Fairview Health Services
 
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Doctors and providers who treat this condition

  

Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis (RM) is the breakdown of muscle tissue. When this occurs there is a release of toxic substances into the blood stream. The most common cause for this condition is injury to the muscle from trauma. The trauma may be due to a blunt injury (car and bike accidents, falls), electrical shock or burns. Lying in one position for a long time (for example, unconscious from a drug or alcohol overdose), strenuous exertion (such as running a marathon), seizures and use of certain prescribed and recreational drugs can also cause RM.

Severe RM can be fatal. It can cause fatal changes in body function including:

  • Kidney failure

  • Abnormal heart rhythm that can be fatal

  • Excess bleeding due to changes in the blood’s ability to form a clot

Severe RM  is a medical emergency and is treated in the hospital with large amounts of IV fluids to flush the toxins out of the body. Mild cases of RM may be treated in the emergency department and followed closely with a repeat exam and blood tests the next day.

Home Care

  1. Rest for the next 24 hours. Avoid any strenuous activity.

  2. Drink extra fluids to stay well hydrated and to continue flushing toxins out of your system. Unless told otherwise, drink 3 quarts of clear fluids over the next 24 hours.

  3. You may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) to control pain, unless another medicine was prescribed. [NOTE: If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.]

Follow Up

with this facility, your doctor or as advised by our staff.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Palpitations (rapid or irregular heartbeat)

  • Dizziness, weakness or fainting

  • Tea- or cola-colored urine or decreased urination

  • Swelling, pain or numbness in the arm or leg muscles

 

 
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