Chest trauma (injury)

Chest | Emergency Medicine | Chest trauma (injury) (Disease)


Chest trauma also called thoracic trauma is a serious injury of the chest, an important cause of disability and mortality occurred from physical trauma after head and spinal cord injury.

Specific types of chest trauma include injuries to the chest wall: chest wall contusions or hematomas, rib fractures, sternal fractures, fractures of the shoulder girdle; pulmonary injury and injuries involving the pleural space: pulmonary contusion, pulmonary laceration, pneumothorax, hemothorax; injury to the airways; cardiac injury: pericardial tamponade; myocardial contusion; blood vessel injuries: traumatic aortic rupture, thoracic aorta injury, aortic dissection; and injuries to other structures within the torso: esophageal injury, diaphragm injury.

Causes and Risk factors

Chest trauma can be penetrating or blunt. Blunt chest trauma refers to tissue damage caused by a sharp object tearing deep into skin and muscle like car accidents and falls cause the most blunt chest trauma.

If the injury pokes through the skin such as stabbing, gunshot wound, arrow through the heart, it’s called penetrating chest trauma.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is confirmed after investigation such as: chest radiograph and chest computer tomography (CT) scan.

Most blunt injuries are managed with relatively simple interventions like tracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation and chest tube insertion. Penetrating injuries often require surgery, and complex investigations are usually not needed to come to a diagnosis. ...