Chapter 27 Chest Injuries National EMS Education Standard

Chapter 27 Chest Injuries National EMS Education Standard

Chapter 27 Chest Injuries National EMS Education Standard Competencies (1 of 5) Trauma Applies fundamental knowledge to provide basic emergency care and transportation based on assessment findings for an acutely injured patient.

National EMS Education Standard Competencies (2 of 5) Chest Trauma Recognition and management of: Blunt versus penetrating mechanisms Open chest wound Impaled object National EMS Education

Standard Competencies (3 of 5) Chest Trauma (contd): Pathophysiology, assessment, and management of: Blunt versus penetrating mechanisms Hemothorax National EMS Education Standard Competencies (4 of 5) Chest Trauma (contd):

Pathophysiology, assessment, and management of: Pneumothorax Open Simple Tension National EMS Education Standard Competencies (5 of 5) Chest Trauma (contd)

Pathophysiology, assessment, and management of: Cardiac tamponade Rib fractures Flail chest Commotio cordis Introduction (1 of 2) Each year in the United States, chest trauma causes more than:

700,000 emergency department visits 18,000 deaths Chest injuries can involve the heart, lungs, and great blood vessels. Introduction (2 of 2) Immediately treat injuries that interfere with normal breathing function. Internal bleeding can compress the lungs and

heart. Air may collect in the chest, preventing lung expansion. Anatomy and Physiology (1 of 5) Ventilation is the bodys ability to move air in and out of the chest and lung tissue. Respiration is the exchange of gases in the alveoli of the lung tissue. The chest (thoracic cage) extends from the

lower end of the neck to the diaphragm. Anatomy and Physiology (2 of 5) Thoracic skin, muscle, and bones Similarities to other regions Also unique features to allow for ventilation, such

as skeletal muscle Anatomy and Physiology (3 of 5) The neurovascular bundle lies closely along the lowest margin of each rib. The pleura covers each lung and the thoracic cavity. Surfactant allows the lungs to move freely against the inner chest wall during respiration.

Anatomy and Physiology (4 of 5) Vital organs, such as the heart, are protected by the ribs. Connected in the back to the vertebrae Connected in the front to the sternum Anatomy and Physiology (5 of 5) The mediastinum contains the heart, great vessels, esophagus, and trachea. A thoracic aortic aneurysm can develop in this

area of the chest. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity. Mechanics of Ventilation (1 of 4) The intercostal muscles (between the ribs) contract during inhalation. The diaphragm contracts at the same time.

The intercostal muscles and the diaphragm relax during exhalation. The body should not have to work to breathe when in a resting state. Mechanics of Ventilation (2 of 4) Mechanics of Ventilation (3 of 4) Patients with a

spinal injury below C5 can still breathe from the diaphragm. Patients with a spinal injury above C3 may lose the ability to breathe. Mechanics of Ventilation (4 of 4)

Minute ventilation (minute volume) Amount of air moved through the lungs in 1 minute Normal tidal volume respiratory rate Patients with a decreased tidal volume will have an increased respiratory rate. Injuries of the Chest (1 of 7) Two types: open and closed

In a closed chest injury, the skin is not broken. Generally caused by blunt trauma Source: Courtesy of ED, Royal North Shore Hospital/NSW Institute of Trauma & Injury Injuries of the Chest (2 of 7) Closed chest injury (contd) Can cause significant cardiac and pulmonary

contusion If the heart is damaged, it may not be able to refill with or receive blood. Lung tissue bruising can result in exponential loss of surface area. Rib fractures may cause further damage. Injuries of the Chest (3 of 7) In an open chest injury, an object

penetrates the chest wall itself. Knife, bullet, piece of metal, or broken end of fractured rib Do not attempt to move or remove object. Injuries of the Chest (4 of 7)

Blunt trauma to the chest may cause: Rib, sternum, and chest wall fractures Bruising of the lungs and heart Damage to the aorta Vital organs to be torn from their attachment in the chest cavity Injuries of the Chest (5 of 7) Signs and symptoms: Pain at the site of injury

Localized pain aggravated or increased with breathing Bruising to the chest wall Crepitus with palpation of the chest Penetrating injury to the chest Dyspnea Injuries of the Chest (6 of 7) Signs and symptoms (contd): Hemoptysis

Failure of one or both sides of the chest to expand normally with inspiration Rapid, weak pulse Low blood pressure Cyanosis around the lips or fingernails Injuries of the Chest (7 of 7) Chest injury patients often have rapid and shallow respirations. Hurts to take a deep breath

The patient may not be moving air. Auscultate multiple locations to assess for adequate breath sounds. Patient Assessment Patient assessment steps Scene size-up Primary assessment History taking Secondary assessment

Reassessment Scene Size-up (1 of 2) Scene safety Ensure the scene is safe for you, your partner, your patient, and bystanders. If the area is a crime scene, do not disturb evidence. Request law enforcement for scenes involving violence.

Use gloves and eye protection. Scene Size-up (2 of 2) Mechanism of injury/nature of illness Chest injuries are common in motor vehicle crashes, falls, and assaults. Determine the number of patients. Consider spinal immobilization. Primary Assessment (1 of 8)

Form a general impression. Note the patients level of consciousness. Perform a rapid scan. Obvious injuries Appearance of blood Difficulty breathing Cyanosis Irregular breathing Primary Assessment (2 of 8)

Form a general impression (contd). Perform a rapid scan (contd). Chest rise and fall on only one side Accessory muscle use Extended or engorged jugular veins Assess the ABCs. Assess overall appearance. Primary Assessment (3 of 8) Airway and breathing

Ensure that the patient has a clear and patent airway. Consider early cervical spine stabilization. Are jugular veins distended? Is breathing present and adequate? Inspect for DCAP-BTLS. Primary Assessment (4 of 8) Airway and breathing (contd) Look for equal expansion of the chest wall.

Check for paradoxical motion. Apply occlusive dressing to all penetrating injuries. Support ventilations. Primary Assessment (5 of 8) Airway and breathing (contd) Reassess the effectiveness of ventilatory support. Be alert for decreasing oxygen saturation.

Be alert for impending pneumothorax. Primary Assessment (6 of 8) Circulation Pulse rate and quality Skin color and temperature Address life-threatening bleeding immediately, using direct pressure and a bulky dressing. Primary Assessment (7 of 8)

Transport decision Priority patients are those with a problem with their ABCs. Pay attention to subtle clues, such as: The appearance of the skin Level of consciousness A sense of impending doom in the patient Primary Assessment (8 of 8) Transport

decision (contd) Table 27-1 lists the deadly dozen chest injuries. History Taking (1 of 2) Investigate the chief complaint. Further investigate the MOI.

Identify signs, symptoms, and pertinent negatives. SAMPLE history Focus on the MOI. History Taking (2 of 2) SAMPLE history (contd) A basic evaluation should be completed: Signs and symptoms

Allergies Medications Pertinent medical problems Last oral intake Events leading to the emergency Secondary Assessment (1 of 3) Physical examinations Perform a full-body scan. For an isolated injury, focus on:

Isolated injury Patients complaint Body region affected Location and extent of injury Anterior and posterior aspects of the chest wall Changes in respirations Secondary Assessment (2 of 3) Physical examinations (contd)

For significant trauma, use DCAP-BTLS to determine the nature and extent of the thoracic injury. Quickly assess the entire patient from head to toe. Secondary Assessment (3 of 3) Vital signs Assess pulse, respirations, blood pressure, skin condition, and pupils.

Reevaluate every 5 minutes or less. Pulse and respiratory rates may decrease in later stages of the chest injury. Use a pulse oximeter to recognize any downward trends in the patients condition. Reassessment (1 of 4) Repeat the primary assessment. Reassess the chief complaint. Airway

Breathing Pulse Perfusion Bleeding Reassessment (2 of 4) Interventions Provide complete spinal immobilization for patients with suspected spinal injuries. Maintain an open airway.

Control significant, visible bleeding. Place an occlusive dressing over penetrating trauma to the chest wall. Reassessment (3 of 4) Interventions (contd) Manually stabilize a flail segment using a bulky dressing. Provide aggressive treatment for shock and transport patients with signs of hypoperfusion.

Do not delay transport to complete nonlifesaving treatments. Reassessment (4 of 4) Communication and documentation Communicate all relevant information to the staff at the receiving hospital. Describe all injuries and the treatment given. Pneumothorax (1 of 10)

Commonly called a collapsed lung Accumulation of air in the pleural space Blood passing through the collapsed portion of the lung is not oxygenated. You may hear diminished, absent, or abnormal breath sounds. Pneumothorax (2 of 10) Pneumothorax (3 of 10)

Open chest wound Often called an open pneumothorax or a sucking chest wound Wounds must be rapidly sealed with a sterile occlusive dressing. Pneumothorax (4 of 10) Pneumothorax (5 of 10) Open chest wound

(contd) A flutter valve is taped on only three sides. Carefully monitor the patients for tension pneumothorax. If this video does not automatically play, please click here.

Pneumothorax (6 of 10) Spontaneous pneumothorax Caused by structural weakness rather than trauma Weak area (bleb) can rupture spontaneously, letting air into the pleural space. Suspect it in patients with sudden, unexplained chest pain and shortness of breath. Pneumothorax (7 of 10)

Simple pneumothorax Does not result in major changes in the patients physiology Commonly due to blunt trauma that results in fractured ribs Can often worsen, deteriorate into tension pneumothorax, or develop complications Pneumothorax (8 of 10) Tension pneumothorax

Results from significant air accumulation in the pleural space Increased pressure in the chest causes: Complete collapse of the unaffected lung Mediastinum to be pushed into the opposite pleural cavity Pneumothorax (9 of 10) Tension pneumothorax (contd) Commonly caused by a blunt injury in which a

fractured rib lacerates the lung or bronchus Pneumothorax (10 of 10) Hemothorax (1 of 3) Blood collects in the pleural space from bleeding around the rib cage or from a lung or great vessel. Hemothorax (2 of 3)

Hemothorax (3 of 3) Signs and symptoms Shock Decreased breath sounds on the affected side Prehospital treatment: Rapid transport The presence of air and blood in the pleural

space is a hemopneumothorax. Cardiac Tamponade (1 of 3) Protective membrane (pericardium) around the heart fills with blood or fluid The heart cannot adequately pump the blood. Cardiac Tamponade (2 of 3)

Cardiac Tamponade (3 of 3) Signs and symptoms Becks triad Altered mental status Prehospital treatment Support ventilations. Rapidly transport. Rib Fractures (1 of 2)

Common, particularly in older people A fracture of one of the upper four ribs is a sign of a very substantial MOI. A fractured rib may cause a pneumothorax or a hemothorax. Rib Fractures (2 of 2) Signs and symptoms Localized tenderness and pain when breathing Rapid, shallow respirations

Patient holding the affected portion of the rib cage Prehospital treatment includes supplemental oxygen. Flail Chest (1 of 3) Caused by compound rib fractures that

detach a segment of the chest wall Detached portion moves opposite of normal Flail Chest (2 of 3) Prehospital treatment Maintain the airway.

Provide respiratory support, if needed. Give supplemental oxygen. Reassess for complications. Flail Chest (3 of 3) To immobilize a flail segment: Tape a bulky dressing or pad against that segment of the chest. Have the patient hold a pillow against the chest wall.

Flail chest may indicate serious internal damage or spinal injury. Other Chest Injuries (1 of 8) Pulmonary contusion Should always be suspected in a patient with a flail chest Pulmonary alveoli become filled with blood, leading to hypoxia

Prehospital treatment Respiratory support and supplemental oxygen Rapid transport Other Chest Injuries (2 of 8) Other fractures Sternal fractures Increased index of suspicion for organ injury Clavicle fractures

Possible damage to neurovascular bundle Suspect upper rib fractures in medial clavicle fractures. Be alert to pneumothorax development. Other Chest Injuries (3 of 8) Traumatic asphyxia Source: Chuck Stewart, MD.

Characterized by distended neck veins, cyanosis in the face and neck, and hemorrhage in the sclera of the eye Sudden, severe compression of the chest, producing a rapid increase in

pressure Other Chest Injuries (4 of 8) Traumatic asphyxia (contd) Suggests an underlying injury to the heart and possibly a pulmonary contusion Prehospital treatment: Ventilatory support and supplemental oxygen Monitor vital signs during immediate transport.

Other Chest Injuries (5 of 8) Blunt myocardial injury Bruising of the heart muscle The heart may be unable to maintain adequate blood pressure. Signs and symptoms Irregular pulse rate Chest pain or discomfort

Other Chest Injuries (6 of 8) Blunt myocardial injury (contd) Suspect it in all cases of severe blunt injury to the chest. Prehospital treatment Carefully monitor the pulse. Note changes in blood pressure. Other Chest Injuries (7 of 8) Commotio cordis

Injury caused by a sudden, direct blow to the chest during a critical portion of the heartbeat May result in immediate cardiac arrest Ventricular fibrillation responds to defibrillation within the first 2 minutes of the injury. Other Chest Injuries (8 of 8) Laceration of the great vessels May result in rapidly fatal hemorrhage Prehospital treatment

Ventilatory support, if needed Immediate transport Be alert for shock. Monitor for changes in baseline vital signs. Summary (1 of 7) A penetrating chest injury can penetrate the lung and diaphragm and injure the liver or stomach. Closed chest injuries are often the result of

blunt force trauma, and open injuries are the result of some object penetrating the skin and/or chest wall. Summary (2 of 7) Blunt trauma may result in fractures to the ribs and the sternum. Injuries that interfere with the ability of the patient to ventilate or oxygenate must be addressed quickly.

Summary (3 of 7) Penetrating injury to the chest may allow air to enter the pleural space, causing pneumothorax. Cover the wound with an occlusive dressing. A penetrating injury that creates a hole in the chest wall is called an open pneumothorax or sucking chest wound.

Summary (4 of 7) A spontaneous pneumothorax may be the result of rupture of a weak spot on the lung, allowing air to enter the pleural space and accumulate. A simple pneumothorax is a result of blunt trauma resulting in fractured ribs. Summary (5 of 7) A pneumothorax may progress to a tension

pneumothorax and cause cardiac arrest. Hemothorax is the result of blood accumulating in the pleural space. A hemopneumothorax is the presence of air and blood in the pleural space. Summary (6 of 7) A flail chest segment (two or more ribs broken in two or more places) should be immobilized with a large bulky dressing.

All patients with chest injuries should receive high-flow oxygen or ventilation with a bag-mask device. Summary (7 of 7) Pulmonary contusion, which is bruising of or injury to lung tissue after traumatic injury, may interfere with oxygen exchange in the lung tissue. Traumatic asphyxia is sudden, severe

compression of the chest. Myocardial contusion describes bruising of the heart muscle. Review 1. When the chest impacts the steering wheel during a motor vehicle crash with rapid deceleration, the resulting injury that kills almost one third of patients, usually within seconds, is:

A. a hemothorax. B. aortic shearing. C. a pneumothorax. D. a ruptured myocardium. Review Answer: B Rationale: When the chest impacts the steering wheel following rapid forward deceleration, aortic injuries (shearing or

rupture) are the cause of death in nearly two thirds of patients. The aorta is the largest artery in the body; when it is sheared from its supporting structures or ruptures outright, exsanguination (bleeding to death) occurs usually within a matter of seconds. Review (1 of 2) 1. When the chest impacts the steering wheel during a motor vehicle crash with rapid

deceleration, the resulting injury that kills almost one third of patients, usually within seconds, is: A. a hemothorax. Rationale: This is a serious injury, but is not fatal in seconds. B. aortic shearing. Rationale: Correct answer Review (2 of 2)

1. When the chest impacts the steering wheel during a motor vehicle crash with rapid deceleration, the resulting injury that kills almost one third of patients, usually within seconds, is: C. a pneumothorax. Rationale: This is a serious injury, but is not fatal in seconds. D. a ruptured myocardium. Rationale: This is a serious injury, but not

common. Review 2. Signs and symptoms of a chest injury include all of the following, EXCEPT: A. hemoptysis. B. hematemesis. C. asymmetrical chest movement. D. increased pain with breathing.

Review Answer: B Rationale: Signs and symptoms of a chest injury include, among others, bruising to the chest, chest wall instability, increased pain with breathing, asymmetrical (unequal) chest movement if a pneumothorax is present, and hemoptysis (coughing up blood) if intrapulmonary bleeding is occurring. Hematemesis (vomiting blood) indicates bleeding in the gastrointestinal

tractusually the esophagus or stomachnot the chest cavity. Review (1 of 2) 2. Signs and symptoms of a chest injury include all of the following, EXCEPT: A. hemoptysis. Rationale: Hemoptysis is coughing up blood or blood-tinged sputum. B. hematemesis.

Rationale: Correct answer Review (2 of 2) 2. Signs and symptoms of a chest injury include all of the following, EXCEPT: C. asymmetrical chest movement. Rationale: This may indicate a flailed chest or pneumothorax. D. increased pain with breathing. Rationale: A chest injury will cause the

presence of pain during inspiratory or expiratory chest wall movement. Review 3. During your assessment of a patient who was stabbed, you see an open wound to the left anterior chest. Your MOST immediate action should be to: A. position the patient on the affected side. B. transport immediately.

C. assess the patient for a tension pneumothorax. D. cover the wound with an occlusive dressing. Review Answer: D Rationale: If you encounter an open chest wound, you must cover it with an occlusive dressing. This will prevent air from moving in and out of the wound. After the dressing is

applied, however, you must monitor the patient for signs of a developing tension pneumothorax. Review (1 of 2) 3. During your assessment of a patient who was stabbed, you see an open wound to the left anterior chest. Your MOST immediate action should be to: A. position the patient on the affected side.

Rationale: This is not the most immediate action. B. transport immediately. Rationale: Transport should take place once life threats have been managed Review (2 of 2) 3. During your assessment of a patient who was stabbed, you see an open wound to the left anterior chest. Your MOST

immediate action should be to: C. assess the patient for a tension pneumothorax. Rationale: You must monitor for signs of a developing pneumothorax. D. cover the wound with an occlusive dressing. Rationale: Correct answer Review 4. When caring for a patient with signs of a

pneumothorax, your MOST immediate concern should be: A. hypovolemia. B. intrathoracic bleeding. C. ventilatory inadequacy. D. associated myocardial injury. Review Answer: C Rationale: A pneumothorax occurs when air enters

the pleural space and progressively collapses the lung. This impairs the ability of the lung to move air in and out (ventilate). As the lung collapses further, ventilatory efficiency decreases, resulting in hypoxemia; this should be your most immediate concern. Some patients with a pneumothorax may also experience intrathoracic bleeding and associated myocardial injury, depending on the mechanism of injury and the force of the trauma.

Review (1 of 2) 4. When caring for a patient with signs of a pneumothorax, your MOST immediate concern should be: A. hypovolemia. Rationale: This may be indicated by the signs and symptoms of shock. B. intrathoracic bleeding. Rationale: The patient may experience this, but inadequate ventilation is your immediate

concern. Review (2 of 2) 4. When caring for a patient with signs of a pneumothorax, your MOST immediate concern should be: C. ventilatory inadequacy. Rationale: Correct answer D. associated myocardial injury. Rationale: The patient may experience this,

but inadequate ventilation is your immediate concern Review 5. What purpose does a one-way flutter valve serve when used on a patient with an open pneumothorax? A. It prevents air escape from within the chest cavity. B. It allows a release for air trapped in the pleural

space. C. It only prevents air from entering an open chest wound. D. It allows air to freely move in and out of the chest cavity. Review Answer: B Rationale: A one-way flutter valve is used to treat patients with an open pneumothorax

(sucking chest wound), and serves two purposes: it allows air trapped in the pleural space to escape during exhalation, and it prevents air from entering the pleural space during inhalation. These combined effects alleviate pressure on the affected lung, which allows it to reexpand. Review (1 of 2) 5. What purpose does a one-way flutter

valve serve when used on a patient with an open pneumothorax? A. It prevents air escape from within the chest cavity Rationale: It allows air to exit the chest. B. It allows a release for air trapped in the pleural space Rationale: Correct answer Review (2 of 2)

5. What purpose does a one-way flutter valve serve when used on a patient with an open pneumothorax? C. It only prevents air from entering an open chest wound Rationale: It prevents air from entering and allows air to exit the chest. D. It allows air to freely move in and out of the chest cavity Rationale: It allows air to move out freely and

prevents air from entering. Review 6. Signs of a cardiac tamponade include all of the following, EXCEPT: A. muffled heart tones. B. a weak, rapid pulse. C. collapsed jugular veins. D. narrowing pulse pressure.

Review Answer: C Rationale: Cardiac tamponade, which is almost always caused by penetrating chest trauma, occurs when blood accumulates in the pericardial sac. This impairs the hearts ability to contract and relax; as a result, the systolic blood pressure decreases and the diastolic blood pressure increases (narrowing pulse pressure). Because the heart cannot adequately eject blood, it backs up beyond the right atrium, resulting in

jugular venous distention. In some cases, heart tones may be muffled or distant. Other signs include a weak, rapid pulse and hypotension. Review (1 of 2) 6. Signs of a cardiac tamponade include all of the following, EXCEPT: A. muffled heart tones. Rationale: This is an assessment finding with cardiac tamponade.

B. a weak, rapid pulse. Rationale: This is an assessment finding with cardiac tamponade. Review (2 of 2) 6. Signs of a cardiac tamponade include all of the following, EXCEPT: C. collapsed jugular veins. Rationale: Correct answer D. narrowing pulse pressure.

Rationale: This is an assessment finding with cardiac tamponade. Review 7. After experiencing penetrating trauma to the chest, your patients blood pressure is 110/80 mm Hg. Which of the following repeat blood pressures is MOST indicative of a cardiac tamponade? A. 116/74 mm Hg

B. 100/90 mm Hg C. 128/60 mm Hg D. 140/80 mm Hg Review Answer: B Rationale: Among the other signs of a cardiac tamponade, a narrowing of the pulse pressure (the difference between the systolic and diastolic pressure) may be observed. Of

the choices in this question, the blood pressure of 100/90 mm Hg has a pulse pressure of only 10 mm Hg, which is less than any of the other values listed. Review (1 of 2) 7. After experiencing penetrating trauma to the chest, your patients blood pressure is 110/80 mm Hg. Which of the following repeat blood pressures is MOST indicative

of a cardiac tamponade? A. 116/74 mm Hg Rationale: The pulse pressures are not narrowed. B. 100/90 mm Hg Rationale: Correct answer Review (2 of 2) 7. After experiencing penetrating trauma to the chest, your patients blood pressure is

110/80 mm Hg. Which of the following repeat blood pressures is MOST indicative of a cardiac tamponade? C. 128/60 mm Hg Rationale: The pulse pressures are not narrowed. D. 140/80 mm Hg Rationale: The pulse pressures are not narrowed.

Review 8. During your assessment of a patient with a closed chest injury, you should NOT intentionally assess for: A. bruising. B. deformities. C. crepitus. D. breath sounds. Review

Answer: C Rationale: Crepitus, the sound made (or sensation felt) when broken bone ends rub together, is not intentionally assessed for in patients with any injury; it is a coincidental finding that should be documented. Intentionally assessing for crepituswhich involves moving or manipulating the injured areamay worsen the injury and should be avoided.

Review (1 of 2) 8. During your assessment of a patient with a closed chest injury, you should NOT intentionally assess for: A. bruising. Rationale: This may be seen on inspection. B. deformities. Rationale: This may be visualized during the inspection of a patients chest.

Review (2 of 2) 8. During your assessment of a patient with a closed chest injury, you should NOT intentionally assess for: C. crepitus. Rationale: Correct answer D. breath sounds. Rationale: EMTs must assess for adequate lung sounds.

Review 9. Paradoxical chest movement is typically seen in patients with: A. a flail chest. B. a pneumothorax. C. isolated rib fractures. D. a ruptured diaphragm. Review

Answer: A Rationale: Paradoxical chest movement occurs when an area of the chest wall bulges out during exhalation and collapses during inhalation. This type of abnormal chest movement is seen in patients with a flail chest a condition in which several adjacent ribs are fractured in more than one place, resulting in a free-floating segment of fractured ribs.

Review (1 of 2) 9. Paradoxical chest movement is typically seen in patients with: A. a flail chest. Rationale: Correct answer B. a pneumothorax. Rationale: This will produce unilateral chest wall movement. Review (2 of 2)

9. Paradoxical chest movement is typically seen in patients with: C. isolated rib fractures. Rationale: This will produce pain, but not irregular chest wall movement. D. a ruptured diaphragm. Rationale: This typically occurs on the left side. You may hear bowel sounds over the lower chest area.

Review 10. A 40-year-old man, who was the unrestrained driver of a car that hit a tree at a high rate of speed, struck the steering wheel with his chest. He has a large bruise over the sternum and an irregular pulse rate of 120 beats/min. You should be MOST concerned that he: A. has injured his myocardium. B. has a collapsed lung and severe hypoxia. C. has extensive bleeding into the pericardial sac.

D. is at extremely high risk for ventricular fibrillation. Review Answer: A Rationale: A myocardial contusion, or bruising of the heart muscle, is usually the result of blunt traumaspecifically to the center of the chest. In some cases, the injury may be so severe that it renders the heart unable to maintain adequate

cardiac output; as a result, blood pressure falls. The pulse rate is often irregular; however, lethal cardiac dysrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation are uncommon. Review (1 of 2) 10. A 40-year-old man, who was the unrestrained driver of a car that hit a tree at a high rate of speed, struck the steering wheel with his chest. He has a large

bruise over the sternum and an irregular pulse rate of 120 beats/min. You should be MOST concerned that he: A. has injured his myocardium. Rationale: Correct answer B. has a collapsed lung and severe hypoxia. Rationale: This will produce an absence or decrease of breath sounds and unilateral chest wall expansion.

Review (2 of 2) 10. A 40-year-old man, who was the unrestrained driver of a car that hit a tree at a high rate of speed, struck the steering wheel with his chest. He has a large bruise over the sternum and an irregular pulse rate of 120 beats/min. You should be MOST concerned that he: C. has extensive bleeding into the pericardial sac. Rationale: This will produce muffled heart sounds and decreased cardiac output.

D. is at extremely high risk for ventricular fibrillation. Rationale: Lethal dysrhythmias are uncommon. Credit Chapter Opener: PHT/Photo Researchers, Inc. Background slide images: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Courtesy of MIEMSS.

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