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Doctor insights on: Chest Trauma

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Dr. Stefan Chock
58 Doctors shared insights

Chest Trauma (Overview)

Any injury to chest wall, lung, heart or other structures in the chest, apart from the spine itself. This may result from blunt force, blast injury, penetrating injury or sudden and massive accelerating / decelerating forces.


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No insurance. Student debt. Lousy pay. Long hours. How can I take care of my chest trauma?

No insurance. Student debt. Lousy pay. Long hours. How can I take care of my chest trauma?

Rest, ice and..: ...Pain relievers (tylenol (acetaminophen) or Ibuprofen for example). Wait...This all assumes you are not seriously injured. By chest trauma are you referring to sore ribs from wrestling your friend, or major blunt chest injury with lung contusion, bleeding etc., if its more the latter, get to the hospital, insurance or not. ...Read more

Dr. Stefan Chock
58 Doctors shared insights

Chest Trauma (Overview)

Any injury to chest wall, lung, heart or other structures in the chest, apart from the spine itself. This may result from blunt force, blast injury, penetrating injury or sudden and massive accelerating / decelerating forces.


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Is there a collision speed beyond which seatbelts are helpful (ie causes chest trauma). Just curious - obviously going to use one!?

Is there a collision speed beyond which seatbelts are helpful (ie causes chest trauma). Just curious - obviously going to use one!?

Beyond a Belt: Since seatbelts are themselves not the cause of chest trauma resulting in serious injury, but rather the deceleration of the collision, it is the speed that is the factor. Seatbelts will always serve the purpose they were intended to do, i.e. Keep an individual from being thrown from the vehicle. Superficial trauma comes from the seatbelt, but internal trauma comes from shear forces on organs. ...Read more

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Ok I've got chest trauma. What should I do?

Ok I've got chest trauma. What should I do?

See a doctor: Chest trauma is a very large topic. It can range anywhere from a rib fracture to major internal organ injury. The majority of chest trauma is caused from blunt injury such as car accidents, falls, etc. If you are involved in an accident and have pain, shortness of breath, bleeding, light headedness, vomiting, palpitations, or other symptoms you need to be evaluated in an er. ...Read more

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Do lots of people get chest trauma, or is it unusual?

Do lots of people get chest trauma, or is it unusual?

Occasional: Chest trauma occurs when the chest receives a direct blow. Common causes include motor vehicle accidents, sports accidents, personal altercations (a punch to the chest), falls, and industrial injuries. Minor trauma is uncomfortable but does not affect breathing. More major trauma may include broken ribs or sternum, and can affect breathing and may reflect injury inside the chest. ...Read more

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What problems can come from chest trauma?

What problems can come from chest trauma?

Many: Collapsed lungs, pain, paradoxical chest movements, depending on the severity. You should see a doctor to assess them. ...Read more

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Ok I've got chest trauma. What should I do?

See a doctor: Chest trauma is a very large topic. It can range anywhere from a rib fracture to major internal organ injury. The majority of chest trauma is caused from blunt injury such as car accidents, falls, etc. If you are involved in an accident and have pain, shortness of breath, bleeding, light headedness, vomiting, palpitations, or other symptoms you need to be evaluated in an er. ...Read more

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Do lots of people get chest trauma, or is it unusual?

Occasional: Chest trauma occurs when the chest receives a direct blow. Common causes include motor vehicle accidents, sports accidents, personal altercations (a punch to the chest), falls, and industrial injuries. Minor trauma is uncomfortable but does not affect breathing. More major trauma may include broken ribs or sternum, and can affect breathing and may reflect injury inside the chest. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: chest trauma?

What is the definition or description of: chest trauma?

Chest injury: Any injury to chest wall, lung, heart or other structures in the chest, apart from the spine itself. This may result from blunt force, blast injury, penetrating injury or sudden and massive accelerating / decelerating forces. ...Read more

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No insurance. Student debt. Lousy pay. Long hours. How can I take care of my chest trauma?

Rest, ice and..: ...Pain relievers (tylenol (acetaminophen) or Ibuprofen for example). Wait...This all assumes you are not seriously injured. By chest trauma are you referring to sore ribs from wrestling your friend, or major blunt chest injury with lung contusion, bleeding etc., if its more the latter, get to the hospital, insurance or not. ...Read more

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If you had to boil it down, what is chest trauma?

If you had to boil it down, what is chest trauma?

Kinetic energy: Deceleration trauma, baro trauma, penetrating trauma. All of these are forms of thoracic trauma. They may result or not on life threatening situations depending on the kinetic energy transfer. ...Read more

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What causes costochondritis other than chest trauma?

Multiple causes:: Trauma being one that you mentioned;
Others include: Inflammation from any reason; Infection, like Viral, bacterial, etc; Idiopathic, where no cause can be found for it.
I believe a number of mechanisms work together and in most cases no particular cause can be identified. ...Read more

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Is there a collision speed beyond which seatbelts are helpful (ie causes chest trauma). Just curious - obviously going to use one!?

Beyond a Belt: Since seatbelts are themselves not the cause of chest trauma resulting in serious injury, but rather the deceleration of the collision, it is the speed that is the factor. Seatbelts will always serve the purpose they were intended to do, i.e. Keep an individual from being thrown from the vehicle. Superficial trauma comes from the seatbelt, but internal trauma comes from shear forces on organs. ...Read more

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What type of doctor should I see for chest trauma?

What type of doctor should I see for chest trauma?

Depends on severity: Depending on the severity of the injury, your primary md may be able to help you or perhaps refer you to a thoracic surgeon or trauma surgeon. ...Read more

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No rhyme/reason resting chest pain radiates up neck intense lasting 15-30mins, cardiac work up all normal 1900 pvc's in 48hrs, no chest trauma, advice?

No rhyme/reason resting chest pain radiates up neck intense lasting 15-30mins, cardiac work up all normal 1900 pvc's in 48hrs, no chest trauma, advice?

Vasospasm: What if the muscles in the wall of an artery in heart clamps down, with resultant decreased flow of blood, then opens? In theory, workup could be negative and yet you have a problem. A medicine to relax those muscles would help. Other non cardiac causes, thereafter. But you have pvcs. ...Read more

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When should one be concerned about mild chest trauma? 72 hours ago, fell about 4 feet and chest landed squarely on padded surface. A bit sore, but no shortness of breath, bruising, hypotension, etc.

When should one be concerned about mild chest trauma? 72 hours ago, fell about 4 feet and chest landed squarely on padded surface. A bit sore, but no shortness of breath, bruising, hypotension, etc.

Not yet, BUT...: After a blow to the chest, some degree of soreness is predictable. Things that should prompt a trip to your doctor or ER:

*Severe pain
*Shortness of breath
*Lightheadedness
*Coughing bloody mucous or just plain blood
*Nausea / vomiting
*Increasing tenderness in the upper belly

If those symptoms aren't there, you will probably recover just fine. If in doubt? See your doc for a checkup. ...Read more

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Chronic mid back pain radiates to sides/ribs both sides for 2 months. No trauma. Chest X-ray clear. Abdominal ultra sound clear. What is this pain?

Chronic mid back pain radiates to sides/ribs both sides for 2 months. No trauma. Chest X-ray clear. Abdominal ultra sound clear. What is this pain?

Pain: It could be a myo fasciitis I would try some anti-inflammatories such as Aleve (naproxen) 200 mg or 400 mg once or twice a day and add some hot compresses to the areas that are you are complaining ...Read more

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Is my chest injury serious?

Is my chest injury serious?

Need more details: A chest injury can lead to a minor bruise, a popped lung, an injured heart or torn blood vessels inside the chest. Thus, chest injuries can be minor or life threatening. You have expressed concern and you will need to see a doctor who can check to see what kind of injury you have. ...Read more

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What should I do for my chest injury?

What should I do for my chest injury?

That depends: First, it depends whether you are talking about blunt or penetrating. Assuming you mean blunt (fall, car wreck), the important parts are pain control to prevent atelectasis (microscopic lung collapse) and pneumonia. Select interventions include narcotics, invasive pain measures (e.g. On-q pain block), operative stabilization of rib fractures. Care is individualized, so check with your doctor. ...Read more

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How come my back hurt after a chest injury?

Other injuries: You may have other associated injuries. Trauma to the chest commonly causes minor bruising and pain to the entire torso. You could also have other injuries like rib fractures (on the back of your chest). Depending on what type of injury occurred, it is also possible to have spine fractures. If the pain continues or you feel like you are getting worse, see your doctor. ...Read more

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What is an aneurysm? Can it be caused by a chest injury?

What is an aneurysm? Can it be caused by a chest injury?

Enlargement Artery: Abnormal enlargement of artery, weakening of artery wall and eventual rupture. Usually caused by Atherosclerosis and degenerative changes,
Penetrating injury can cause a false aneurysm due to a sidewall injury that partially heals then enlarges and ruptures.
Both need Surgical repair ...Read more

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What is an aneurysm? Can it be caused by a chest injury?

What is an aneurysm? Can it be caused by a chest injury?

Weakness: An aneurysm is an abnormal ballooning of an artery caused by weakness of its wall. As this ballooning gets bigger it can get thinner in the process and is at risk of rupture. These are usually followed periodically by a vascular surgeon using either CT or ultrasound. The initial weakness can indeed be caused by trauma. It can also be due to high blood pressure or cholesterol. ...Read more

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How can you prevent pneumonia in a victim with a chest injury?

Spirometry + Walking: The risk of pneumonia can be reduced with incentive spirometry (breathing exercises) and by increasing physical activity as much as possible. ...Read more

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I had a blunt chest injury 2 weeks ago and had severe pain in my sternum. I still have pain when I laugh cough or lift items. Could this be a fx?

Yes: You may have an undiagnosed sternal fracture causing the pain. X-rays are not 100% at being able to diagnose these. Nevertheless, the treatment remains the same and is nonoperative. Follow up with your primary doctor if the symptoms persist. ...Read more

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It's been nearly two years since my chest injury and the diagnosis is now costochondral separation of second rib. Any chance it will heal now?

Possibly: Chronic costochonral separation might or might not be a correct diagnosis. Chronic (over three months) chest pain is possibly a chronic inflammation called costochondritis, in which case a single small local anesthetic injection with corticosteroid can be miraculous. If is separation, then spontaneous healing after two years unlikely. An osteopath is good specialist to help with such problems. ...Read more

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Could an aneurysm be caused my trauma to the chest?

Could an aneurysm be caused my trauma to the chest?

Yes: Severe, blunt force trauma, most often from a motor vehicle collision, can cause a traumatic disruption of the aorta that usually looks like a contained rupture or pseudoaneurysm of the aorta. This can only be diagnosed with imaging studies after consultation with a doctor. ...Read more