Figuring in accidents is a serious matter. It can result in bodily injuries and, in worst cases, death. One type of injury resulting from these accidents is chest injury. Chest injuries occur at the chest wall (the skin, bones, fat, and muscles securing the lungs, such as your ribs and sternum) or any of the organs within the chest.
Chest injuries involve bruising or abrasions to the chest area, lung or heart damage, or broken bones. Chest injuries can be minor, such as bruising, or they can be one that needs immediate medical attention.
Likewise, a chest injury can be blunt or penetrating. If the damage pushes through the skin (gunshot wound, stabbing, an arrow through the heart, etc.), one can name it a penetrating chest injury. Yet, one can call it blunt chest injury if a sharp object poking through skin and muscle isn’t the main reason for tissue damage.
Note that some blunt forces can still cause the skin to break, such as being kicked by a horse, yet skin tearing isn’t treated as penetrating trauma.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options for chest injuries, including massage therapy, which is ideal if the issue involves the chest muscles.
Overall, know the different types of chest injuries in this article.
Sucking Chest Wound
A sucking or open chest wound is one that generates a marked sucking or hissing sound as a person is breathing.
A sucking chest wound happens when an object pokes through the chest and causes an open channel for air to travel between the thorax (chest) and the external environment. Usually, an open chest wound happens when a person has been stabbed, sustained a gunshot, or wounded by other things that penetrate the chest. The hole in a sucking chest wound is often around the size of a nickel.
Signs of a sucking chest wound include:
- Heavy bleeding coming from the wound
- A chest opening, around the size of a coin
- Blood coming out from a cough
- Bright red or pinkish foaming blood surrounding the chest wound
- Sucking or hissing sounds when the person breathes in and out
Know that a sucking chest wound, at times, has no noise. Likewise, consider any wound that comes from a chest penetration to be a sucking chest wound.
Overall, consider various treatment options for sucking chest wounds, like these chest seals, if you know of someone who happened to experience them.
Your ribs safeguard your fragile and soft organs, such as your lungs and heart. Although the rib bones are strong and are connected by bands of muscles, it’s not impossible to fracture one or more ribs if you’re hardly hit in the chest.
There are various ways in which your ribs can be fractured. These include:
- Getting punched in your rib cage
- Coughing very hard, repeatedly
- Getting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Getting involved in a traffic accident
- Contact sports—hockey, soccer, football,
- Falling onto a solid surface
Know that the healing period of broken ribs could take at least six weeks. You need to be taken if your organs are affected. If not, you can recover within the comfort of your home.
Many individuals with broken ribs don’t need a surgeon. Likewise, you may receive strong medicines. like nerve block or narcotics, in the emergency room if you’re in severe pain.
A flail chest is a case wherein a rib cage section is separated from other parts of the chest wall, often because of serious blunt trauma caused by a severe fall or car accident. This affected part is unable to assist with lung expansion. As such, this causes some distinguishable and non-so-distinguishable issues for the person concerned. A flail chest is a severe chest injury that can result in long-term disability or even death.
When a person suffers from a flail chest, the objective of the emergency room personnel is to stabilize the chest wall, then later determine and treat all injuries in and around the chest.
A flail chest can show symptoms based on its severity. Such symptoms may include:
- Bruising and inflammation
- Extreme chest pain
- Tenderness in the part of your chest where the bone has been separated
- Considerable challenges in breathing
- Irregular falling and rising of the chest when you inhale or exhale.
Chest injury is a severe injury to the chest wall or any chest organs. Some examples are sucking chest wounds, flail chest, and fractured ribs. Overall, consider the right treatment option if you or a person you know is suffering from chest injuries.