Rhabdomyolysis

People doing physical work , like construction, gardening and fire fighter

Rhabdomyolysis (often called rhabdo) is a serious medical condition that can be fatal or result in permanent disability. Rhabdo occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood. These substances can damage the heart and kidneys and cause permanent disability or even death. In the workplace, causes of rhabdo include heat exposure, physical exertion or overuse, and direct trauma (e.g., crush injury from a fall). Anyone can get rhabdo, but workers in many different occupations have a higher chance of developing rhabdo.

Early treatment can prevent serious medical problems and increase your chances of a quick recovery and return to work without any lasting negative health effects. Learn the signs and symptoms and get tested right away if you suspect rhabdo!

Page last reviewed: April 22, 2019