Pulmonary contusion

What is Pulmonary contusion?

A pulmonary contusion (or lung contusion) is a contusion (bruise) of the lung, caused by chest trauma. As a result of damage to capillaries, blood and other fluids accumulate in the lung tissue. The excess fluid interferes with gas exchange, potentially leading to inadequate oxygen levels (hypoxia). Unlike pulmonary laceration, another type of lung injury, pulmonary contusion does not involve a cut or tear of the lung tissue.

A pulmonary contusion is usually caused directly by blunt trauma but can also result from explosion injuries or a shock wave associated with penetrating trauma. With the use of explosives during World Wars I and II, pulmonary contusion resulting from blasts gained recognition. In the 1960s its occurrence in civilians began to receive wider recognition, in which cases it is usually caused by traffic accidents. The use of seat belts and airbags reduces the risk to vehicle occupants.

Diagnosis is made by studying the cause of the injury, physical examination and chest radiography. Typical signs and symptoms include direct effects of the physical trauma, such as chest pain and coughing up blood, as well as signs that the body is not receiving enough oxygen, such as cyanosis. The contusion frequently heals on its own with supportive care. Often nothing more than supplemental oxygen and close monitoring is needed; however, intensive care may be required. For example, if breathing is severely compromised, mechanical ventilation may be necessary. Fluid replacement may be required to ensure adequate blood volume, but fluids are given carefully since fluid overload can worsen pulmonary edema, which may be lethal.

The severity ranges from mild to deadly—small contusions may have little or no impact on the patient's health—yet pulmonary contusion is the most common type of potentially lethal chest trauma. It occurs in 30–75% of severe chest injuries. With an estimated mortality rate of 14–40%, pulmonary contusion plays a key role in determining whether an individual will die or suffer serious ill effects as the result of trauma. Pulmonary contusion is usually accompanied by other injuries. Although associated injuries are often the cause of death, pulmonary contusion is thought to cause death directly in a quarter to half of cases. Children are at especially high risk for the injury because the relative flexibility of their bones prevents the chest wall from absorbing force from an impact, causing it to be transmitted instead to the lung. Pulmonary contusion is associated with complications including pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, and it can cause long-term respiratory disability.

Questions and answers on "Pulmonary contusion"

hi!! so my friend, his dad is kind of crazy and he was drunk and started beating him and kicked him really hard on his chest and he said after he...

doctor1 MD

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. It's quite possible he has at least one fractured rib that has injured the underlying lung; even if his ribs...

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radiologic findings: there is blunting at the right costophrenic sulcus. there is linear infiltrates seen in the right probably CCT contusion.The...

doctor1 MD

Hi,
These findings requires evaluation of the case.
pleural effusion might be due to pneumonitis, tuberculosis and other space occupying lesion in...

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after starting foundry job and regular gas release explosion s when poring steel. i could feel my chest compress from concussion - instant pain...

doctor1 MD

Welcome to Healthcare Magic
You may have suffered from pulmonary contusion due to the force. You should ideally be getting rest and not strain. You...

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Recent questions on  Pulmonary contusion

doctor1 MD

Hello Doctor,

My sister has met with accident 20 days back and is currently in Columbia Asia Bangalore undergoing treatment for lung contusion as...

doctor1 MD

I got into a car accident 2wks ago and was diagnosed with chest wall contusion. Well, I have been doing my breathing exercises but still having...

doctor1 MD

I have been diagnosed with a right should contusion after a skateboarding accident two days ago and have been constantly using it due to duties and...

doctor1 MD

mva 31816. head on, restrained driver. ct scan and blood work all wnl. today sob, pulse ox shows 90%. chest tight and uncomfortable. what should I do.

doctor1 MD

i continue to experience pain in my chest leaning more to the left side and right in the centre, i have gone for a lung function test, results show...

doctor1 MD

Is it possible for a pulmonary contusion to be confused with a cancerous mass on x-ray or CT scan?

doctor1 MD

Passed out in bathroom while p-ing, and fell. Aparently hit corner of something on the way down, and broke a rib. Think I also bruised lung. Rt...

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