Chest Injuries

Give brief description of the following Chest Injuries - Pneumothorax / Haemothorax / Flail Chest (Segment) / Open Pneumothorax (Sucking Wound) / Tension Pneumothorax

        • Chest injury causes impairment to breathing ( hypoxia
        • If left, 1 or both lungs can collapse ( pressure on heart ( Cardiac Arrest

Causes of Chest Injury

  1) Blunt Trauma Blow to the chest with blunt object ( fracture ribs
  2) Penetration Bullets, knives, pieces of metal, glass etc ( penetrate chest wall
  3) Compression Crush injuries   eg steering wheel or Hillsborough


Common in young men and the elderly, leakage of air from small spontaneous rupture in the lung surface ( build up of air in pleural cavity.   Leads to lung collapse & blood vessel problems.   From TRAUMA or LUNG DISEASE.


Damage to lungs and the surrounding tissue by bleeding into pleural cavity.   Gravity takes blood to the bottom of thorasic cavity.   Lean on injured side, ventilate, dull thud sound !   FROM PENETRATION OR TRAUMA.

Flail Segment (or Stove In Chest)

Several ribs broken in more than 1 place causing segment to break from main part.   Anterior flail ( sternum to detach from rib cage.   It is so extensive ( interferes with breathing mechanism !   Paradoxical Breathing !!!!!

Open Pneumothorax (or Sucking Wound)

Air sucked into lung and pleural cavity through open chest wound during inspiration.   Some air may bubble out of wound on expiration.

Tension Pneumothorax

Air into pleural cavity through open wound but can’t escape due to flap of tissue acting as 1 way valve (on inspiration, not expiration).   On inspiration, intrathorasic pressure increases.   Pushes media stynam across chest.