Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Lung Contusion Evaluation

The evaluation of a pulmonary contusion begins with a history and physical examination.

Physical findings in someone with a pulmonary contusion may include:

  • Abnormal breath sounds on chest examination:
    • During examination with a stethoscope
  • Chest contusion:
    • Bruising of the chest wall
  • Chest tenderness
  • Crepitus:
    • Air under the surface of the skin on the chest

Physical findings in someone with a severe pulmonary contusion include:

Testing is necessary to make the diagnosis of pulmonary contusion, and to identify associated chest injuries.

Tests that may be used to evaluate a pulmonary contusion include:

Continue to Lung Contusion Treatment

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lung 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. 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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