Rhabdomyolysis or Rhabdo is the rapid breakdown of muscle tissue which leads to release of the breakdown products into the bloodstream. Some of these by-products, such as myoglobin, can damage the kidneys. Rhabdomyolysis can result from severe exertion of the muscle, crushing, lack of blood supply to the muscle (see also muscle death), metabolic disorders, extremes of body temperature, drugs, toxins, infection or autoimmune disorders. Some people are genetically disposed to developing rhabdo.
Rhabdo can be diagnosed through creatine kinase levels, high potassium levels, and low calcium levels. It should be assumed that anyone suffering severe crushing trauma will develop it. Patients should be given generous amounts of saline and monitored for imbalances in electrolytes.
Rhabdomyolysis at Wikipedia - the featured article for September 20, 2011.