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Emergency Department Evaluation And Management Of Blunt Chest And Lung Trauma (Trauma CME)

June 2016

Abstract

The majority of blunt chest injuries are minor contusions or abrasions; however, life-threatening injuries, including tension pneumothorax, hemothorax, and aortic rupture can occur and must be recognized early. This review focuses on the diagnosis, management, and disposition of patients with blunt injuries to the ribs and lung. Utilization of decision rules for chest x-ray and computed tomography are discussed, along with the emerging role of bedside lung ultrasonography. Management controversies presented include the limitations of needle thoracostomy using standard needle, chest tube placement, and chest tube size. Finally, a discussion is provided related to airway and ventilation management to assist in the timing and type of interventions needed to maintain oxygenation.

Keywords: blunt chest trauma, blunt chest injury, traumatic pneumothorax, traumatic hemothorax, pulmonary contusion, rib fracture, flail chest, clavicle fracture, scapula fracture, sternoclavicular dislocation, sternum fracture, NEXUS, thoracostomy, Battle Score
 
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Last Modified: 08/17/2017
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