Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chest Contusion Overview

What is a chest contusion?
A person with a chest contusion has a bruise to the chest wall. The bruise may involve the skin, ribs, or muscles of the chest wall. A more severe chest contusion may cause bleeding in the underlying muscle and subcutaneous tissues, resulting in a chest hematoma.

What are the symptoms of a chest contusion?
Symptoms of a chest contusion include chest pain, bruising, chest wall tenderness, and swelling.

How does the doctor treat a chest contusion?
Treatment for a chest contusion includes rest, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Deep breathing exercises may be recommended to lessen the risk for atelectasis and pneumonia.

Continue to Chest Contusion Symptoms

Last Updated: Jun 2, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chest Contusion References
  1. Aihara R, Millham FH, Blansfield J, Hirsch EF. Emergency room thoracotomy for penetrating chest injury: effect of an institutional protocol. J Trauma. 2001 Jun;50(6):1027-30. [11426116]
  2. Ferguson M, Luchette FA. Management of blunt chest injury. Respir Care Clin N Am. 1996 Sep;2(3):449-66. [9390891]
  3. Nagy KK, Krosner SM, Roberts RR, Joseph KT, Smith RF, Barrett J. Determining which patients require evaluation for blunt cardiac injury following blunt chest trauma. World J Surg. 2001 Jan;25(1):108-11. [11213149]
  4. Sartorelli KH, Vane DW. The diagnosis and management of children with blunt injury of the chest. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2004 May;13(2):98-105. [15362279]
  5. Wanek S, Mayberry JC. Blunt thoracic trauma: flail chest, pulmonary contusion, and blast injury. Crit Care Clin. 2004 Jan;20(1):71-81. [14979330]
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