Flail Chest is a Major Auto Accident Trauma
Car accidents are something that almost everyone hears about on the radio, television, or from other news sources. These stories should push people to do more to increase safety on the roads; however, too often, people become numb to the stories of motor vehicle accidents. It is important for everyone to keep in mind that people can be seriously injured or killed in an auto accident. Some of the statistics that were recently published in an article in the USA Today show that:
- In 2017, more than 40,000 people were killed in car accidents.
- This number is down 1 percent from 2016; however, it also represents a 6 percent increase from 2015.
- These do not include the people killed on private roads, in parking lots, or in driveways.
These numbers show that, despite the significant push to reduce the number of deaths on the roads, little progress is being made. For those who survive car accidents, they may be dealing with serious injuries that could require hospitalization. One of these is termed flail chest.
What is Flail Chest?
If a severe head-on motor vehicle accident takes place, people could strike their chest on the steering wheel or dashboard. This has the potential to cause multiple rib fractures. When this happens, this segment of the rib cage detaches from the rest of the chest wall. This can lead to serious symptoms including:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Anxiety, fatigue, and fear
- Increasing heart rate and respiratory rate
- Crepitus, or the feeling of air moving underneath the chest wall
When people breath with a flail chest, the injured segment moves in the opposite direction of the rest of the chest wall. This is termed paradoxical motion and is incredibly painful. It also makes it more difficult to breathe. Therefore, this is a medical emergency that requires rapid treatment.
Watch YouTube Video: Flail Chest- Everything You Need to Know. This educational animated video describes everything you need to know about flail chest and the signs and symptoms of the condition.
Treatment Options for Flail Chest
Because flail chest is a life-threatening injury, quick treatment is important. Some of the tenets of the treatment process include:
- Pain management with nerve blocks and opioids to allow people to take deep breaths.
- Ventilatory support to keep the lungs expanded, which might include intubation.
- Frequent positional rotation to keep the individual comfortable and to keep the lungs open.
- Treatment of the flail segment, which might include surgical fixation.
After the broken bones have been repaired, individuals will still require physiotherapy. This is important because it will keep air moving to all parts of the lungs, preventing lung collapse. Individuals will still have significant pain for a few weeks after the flail segment has been fixed. This comes from pulmonary contusions that often accompany significant chest trauma.
Contacting a Car Accident Injury Attorney
When a loved one has been involved in a major car accident, there could be serious injuries that require medical treatment. Any injury to the rib cage has the potential to damage vital organs underneath the bones. This includes the heart and the lungs. These life-threatening injuries should prompt families to ask for help from a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. An injury lawyer can provide assistance to families in need by:
- Pursuing damages that are related to the motor vehicle accident and the injuries.
- Making sure that the liability for the accident has been appropriately assigned.
- Taking the case to court if needed.
Do not hesitate to ask for help after a severe motor vehicle collision. You and your family members could be deserving of a financial reward.
Sacramento Auto Accident Attorneys
I’m Ed Smith, an auto accident attorney in Sacramento. A major car accident could cause serious injuries that can require medical treatment. If you or someone you care for has been hurt in a motor vehicle collision, contact me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You can see our verdicts or settlements here.
Flail Chest is a Major Auto Accident Trauma: Autoaccident.com
Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Pixabay. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Flail Chest is a Major Auto Accident Trauma.
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