A chest injury occurs after the result of an accident or intentional penetration of a foreign object into the chest. A chest injury can also lead to chest wall injury which causes rib bruises or fractures and lung or heart contusions.
A chest injury comes in different severity accompanied by different signs and symptoms.
- A minor chest injury is usually accompanied by chest wall pain. Chest pain can still be caused by a minor damage for days. Deep breathing, sneezing or forceful coughing can also increase the pain. Minor chest injuries often do not require a trip to the doctor and can be treated at home to help lessen the discomfort.
- A serious chest injury is accompanied by discomfort or difficulty in breathing after the injury occurs. Other signs can also develop rapidly such as shortness of breath or symptoms of shock. A serious chest injury is caused by a powerful strike to the chest which can injure impair in the chest or upper abdomen.
- A rib fracture can also occur. Damage to the chest can break a rib or injure a cartilage in the rib cage. Symptoms of a broken or bruised rib include a sharp, severe pain at the site of the chest injury accompanied by pain that becomes while breathing, cough or when you apply pressure on the injured site.
Signs and symptoms of a chest injury
- Difficulty breathing
- Inability of the chest to normally expand
- Crunching sensation in the ribs
In treating a chest injury, these guidelines should be followed to prevent the injury from becoming worse:
- Do not remove the object associated with the chest injury.
- A clean airtight dressing should be used immediately to cover any hole that extends into the chest cavity.
- Give the injured person clean and pure oxygen to breathe.
- Immobilize the injured person’s neck and back after the chest injury occurs.
- CPR should be applied if necessary.
Anyone who sustained a chest injury must seek medical attention right away to prevent any more injury and complications.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on a chest injury is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.