Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Contusion to the Lung Overview

Another name for Contusion to the Lung is Pulmonary Contusion.

What is a pulmonary contusion?
A person with a pulmonary contusion has a bruise to the lung, which results in bleeding into the lung tissue. The collection of blood can prevent oxygen from passing from the lung, into the bloodstream. Pulmonary contusions are caused by severe chest injuries, such as multiple rib fractures or a sternum fracture.

What are the symptoms of a pulmonary contusion?
Symptoms of a pulmonary contusion include difficulty breathing, cough, chest pain, and bruising and swelling of the chest wall. Symptoms of a worsening pulmonary contusion include coughing blood, deformed chest wall, severe difficulty breathing, excessive sweating, fainting and confusion.

How does the doctor treat a pulmonary contusion?
Treatment for a pulmonary contusion may include intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, narcotic pain medications, oxygen therapy, and deep breathing exercises. Treatment for a severe pulmonary contusion may include a ventilator to support breathing.

Continue to Contusion to the Lung Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Contusion to the Lung 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. Allen GS, Cox CS Jr.Pulmonary contusion in children: diagnosis and management. South Med J. 1998 Dec;91(12):1099-106. [9853720]
  3. Ferguson M, Luchette FA. Management of blunt chest injury. Respir Care Clin N Am. 1996 Sep;2(3):449-66. [9390891]
  4. 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]
  5. 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]
  6. 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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