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Blunt Chest Trauma

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What is blunt chest trauma?

Blunt chest trauma is a sudden, forceful injury to your chest. It is often caused by a car or motorcycle accident, blast injury, or a fall. It may also be caused by a sports injury, such as a hit from a baseball. You may have no signs or symptoms, or you may have bruising, pain, or soreness.

How is blunt chest trauma diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your chest. He will also check your breathing. He will ask about your injury and symptoms. You may receive any of the following tests to look for signs of other injuries:

  • A chest x-ray may be done to look for injury to your heart, lungs, or bones.
  • A CT scan may be used to look for damage to your lungs. You may be given a dye before the scan. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • An EKG test records your heart rhythm and how fast your heart beats. It is used to check for any heart problems.
  • An ultrasound may be used to look for blood in the space between your chest wall and lung. It may also be used to look for damage to your heart.

How is blunt chest trauma treated?

Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask how to take this medicine safely.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have increased chest pain or pain in your upper back or neck.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • You have an uneven or fast heartbeat.
  • You have trouble breathing or fast breathing, or you cough up blood.
  • Your neck veins swell.
  • Your fingernails, toenails, or lips turn blue.
  • You notice your throat or the front of your neck begin to shift to one side.
  • You are confused or feel like you are going to faint.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have new symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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