Rhabdomyolysis is a syndrome caused by injury to skeletal muscle and breakdown products of damaged muscle cells are released into the bloodstream; some of these, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure. Rhabdomyolysis and its complications are significant problems for those injured in disasters such as earthquakes and bombings. Eighty-five percent of victims of traumatic injuries develop rhabdomyolysis. Of those patients with rhabdomyolysis 10-50% of those patients will develop acute renal failure. An estimated 26,000 cases of rhabdomyolysis are reported annually in the US. Men have a slightly higher incidence of developing rhabdomyolysis than women. Patients with severe injury who develop rhabdomyolysis-induced renal failure have a mortality of approximately 20%
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