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Symptoms and Signs of Chest Injuries

Doctor's Notes on Chest Injuries

A chest injury or trauma is any injury to the ribs, heart, or lungs and can occur as the result of an accidental or deliberate penetration of a foreign object into the chest. This type of injury can also result from a blunt trauma, leading to chest wall injury, which causes rib bruises, fracture, lung, or heart contusions.

Symptoms of chest injury may include difficulty breathing, failure of the chest to expand normally, crunching sounds in the ribs, bruising, coughing up blood, or one segment of the chest wall may not move with breathing or move opposite to the rest of the chest wall (flail chest). A person with a chest injury should seek medical treatment as soon as possible because even without an obvious external injury, a significant internal injury can occur.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.