a. Signs/Symptoms. Signs and symptoms of flail chest include the following:
Pain at the site of the injury.
Tachypnea (rapid breathing).
(3) Paradoxical respirations. For example, the chest expands with
expiration (breathing out) and contracts with inhalation (breathing in).
b. Treatment. To administer initial treatment to a casualty with a flail chest
injury, you should:
Place your hand, a pillow, or another object on the flail segment to
Strap or tape the pillow or other object in place.
Give the casualty oxygen.
Cardiac contusion is severe trauma to the anterior chest. This trauma results in
bruising and irritation of the heart muscle. This injury is caused by a severe, blunt blow
to the chest; for example, a steering wheel injury.
a. Signs/Symptoms. Cardiac signs and symptoms include:
Exposed ribs and/or sternum.
(2) Cardiac dysrhythmias may be detectable by an irregular pulse. The
location of the injury often influences the types of dysrhythmias. An injury to the right
side results in artial dysrhythmias. Injury to the left side or the front results in ventricular
b. Management. To manage a patient with cardiac contusion, you should:
Be alert for possible cardiac arrest.
(2) Help the casualty avoid movement and conditions which could cause a
change in heart rate.
Stabilize the patient and evacuate immediately.