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    Are severe chest pain and breathing difficulty symptoms of chest contusion?

Posted on Fri, 27 Nov 2015 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: My airbag deployed in the center of my chest. I am a 61 year old woman with fibromyalgia. The EMT's who came to the scene discouraged me from going to the ER and said that severe pain and difficulty breathing was normal for an airbag injury. This happened one week and two days ago, and I still have a horrible time breathing deeply, coughing, burping or, God forbid, hiccups. Should I see my doctor or just be patient with the healing time?
Answered by Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein 34 minutes later
Brief Answer:
typical for chest contusion

Detailed Answer:
Hi and welcome.
This is typical mechanism to cause chest contusion and in these cases pain is typically increased during cough, sneeze,deep breathing etc. This happens because there are sensitive nerves between 2 ribs and in most cases pain is stronger after few days than in the beginning. ALso, it usually persist for at least 2 weeks and may be felt after 3-4 weeks. More serious condition would be sternum or rib fracture but in this case, scenario is the same and pain just may last bit longer. SO I dont think you need to see a doctor. ALl he can do is to do xrays which is not necessary after 10 days. You need just good analgesia (diclofenak or ibuprofenum), rest and avoid weight lifting. Also it is important to breathe properly and avoid shallow breathing since it may lead to pneumonia development. Wish you good health. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 13452 Questions


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