A chest contusion is essentially a bruise that affects any part of the chest and the organs it protects. Blunt force trauma breaks blood vessels, leaving a large bruise. If the impact is strong enough, you may also suffer injuries to your lungs, heart, or other organs.
Common Symptoms of Chest Contusions
Pain is perhaps the most common symptom of a chest contusion. Instead of dropping off in the days after an accident, pain from a chest contusion often increases in severity. With the increase in pain, you may also experience difficulty breathing, wheezing, limited mobility in the chest, shortness of breath, pain while coughing, sweating, low blood pressure, and coughing.
How a Chest Contusion Can Lead to More Serious Injury
In many cases, chest contusions are not serious injuries. An injury victim may simply have to rest, limit their physical activity, and monitor their symptoms while they allow their body to heal. In more serious cases, chest contusions can lead to severe or life-threatening injuries. They include:
- Lung infections. Mucus and other secretions naturally build up in the airways, and the body relies on its ability to cough to get rid of this buildup. If you suffer a chest contusion, you may find effective coughing extremely painful or even impossible. When you suppress your coughing, mucus is not fully expelled. This can cause additional buildup that settles in your lungs, allows bacteria to grow, and turns into a full-blown infection. This further inhibits your ability to breathe and can even turn septic if not treated in time.
- Stiffness in the spine and shoulders. Further injuries are possible if you do not do light stretching and movement after a contusion. While it’s not recommended that you exercise or overdo it, you should try to stretch out the muscles near your chest. Otherwise, the tightness that builds up can lead to painful injuries when you resume normal movement.
- Myocardial contusions. One dangerous complication of chest contusions is a myocardial contusion. Bruising of the heart can severely impact its ability to pump blood effectively. This puts significant strain on the heart and can starve other parts of the body of the blood they need to function efficiently.
- Internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is one of the worst possible outcomes of a car accident. If not caught immediately, it can be fatal. Symptoms include deep bruising around the chest and abdomen, extreme fatigue, pale or sweaty skin, and dizziness.
The Importance of Medical Care
Chest contusions highlight the importance of prompt medical care after a car crash. Even if you don’t experience anything out of the ordinary, that doesn’t mean that you’re out of the woods yet. The sooner your injuries are identified, the sooner you can get on the path to recovery. Local emergency and urgent care facilities like Ascension Providence, Mobile Infirmary Emergency Room, and Compass Urgent Care provide a range of care options to car crash victims.
Pursue the Compensation You Deserve with Hedge Copeland
You shouldn’t be left paying for someone else’s negligence after a car accident. If someone else is responsible for your injuries, it’s time to find out if you can hold them accountable with a personal injury claim. Set up a consultation with Hedge Copeland now by contacting us online or calling us at 251-432-8844.