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Seizure,severe pain in sternum,painful cough,X-ray

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I had a seizure yesterday and, obviously, didn't recall what happened but am experiencing SEVERE pain in my upper rib cage/sterum area, especially painfull when I cough, laugh, or sneeze. Later, I found out that a lifeguard starting giving me CPR, for some stupid reason, and I'm REALLY trying to figure out if she could have possibly broken a rib or something. I know I should go see my doctor and get an x-ray; I'm just trying to figure out what, if anything, he can do for it, if, in fact, it is broken. ANY feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query. Chances of a fracture are there if CPR was done with force but it can be as simple as a cracked rib also.

There is no specific treatment for rib fractures but supportive treatment helps. I suggest you to apply cold compresses and take some like Ibuprofen after prescription from your doctor.

Give complete rest to the part and avoid doing any activity or exercise which aggravates the symptoms. In the past, it was common to tape or tightly wrap the injured rib area but it could cause parts of your lung to collapse or could increase your risk for pneumonia. Hence it should be avoided.

To confirm the diagnosis, best would be to get an x-ray (to rule out fractures) and a MRI scan (to confirm good health.

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