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Chest Trauma

Chest trauma is the third most common traumatic cause of death after head and spinal trauma. Car crashes, motorcycle and bicycle crashes and falls from heights are the most common causes of chest trauma. The trauma can be blunt or penetrating. Upper chest trauma might cause injury to bones like the ribs or the sternum, or it can damage organs like the lungs or heart. Lower chest trauma might result in injuries to the liver or the spleen. Blunt chest trauma injuries from shoulder harnesses are quite common in high speed motor vehicle impacts.

Severe Chest Trauma Symptoms

Severe pain and difficulty breathing are two symptoms of severe chest trauma. Other symptoms might consist of the chest not expanding normally when taking in air, abnormal crunchy rib sounds, coughing up blood, bruising and any other obvious external sign of injury.

Diagnosing Blunt Chest Trauma Injuries

CT Scanning is preferred in diagnosing most serious blunt trauma chest injuries. Oddly, victims of penetrating injuries might recover more quickly than those with blunt chest trauma injuries.

Common Chest Trauma Accident Injuries

Both blunt and penetrating trauma can result in a wide range of injuries. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Rib fractures. A powerful impact to the ribs can tear cartilage between the ribs or fracture the ribs themselves. Breathing is painful, and coughing or sneezing can be excruciating. These injuries are very sensitive to the sense of touch.
  • Flail chest. A part of the rib cage can detach. This ordinarily happens when two or more ribs are fractured. Part of the rib cage breaks free. Chest flailing can put a person’s life in danger.
  • Lung Collapse. A person with a collapsed lung will suffer pain, distressed breathing and a high heart rate. When a lung collapses, the wall between the chest and the lung fills with air. This puts pressure on a lung, and as a result, it can’t expand sufficiently when a victim breathes.
  • Organ Damage. Ribs and muscles and cartilage in the chest protect organs like the heart, lungs, esophagus and trachea. Injuries to one or more of these organs can be life threatening.
  • Cardiac Injuries. A penetrating injury to a person’s heart will likely kill him or her in a minute. A blunt trauma injury might result in bruising to the heart, bleeding inside of the heart, broken blood vessels and a heartbeat that might only be described as irregular. Most of the time, unless a criminal act is involved, traumatic cardiac injuries are caused by passenger car or motorcycle accidents.

Contact a Louisville Chest Trauma Injury Lawyer

You’ll want to speak with us about any chest trauma that you suffered in or around Louisville, Lexington, Southern Indiana or across the state of Kentucky as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else.

For an injury victim with any serious chest trauma, it’s important to get to an emergency room as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment. Detailed imaging and diagnostics will probably be required. After that, contact our offices to arrange for a consultation and case evaluation with a lawyer from our offices.
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