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Chest trauma: Clinical
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And trauma to the chest wall is responsible for over one-fourth of trauma deaths.
Chest trauma evaluation starts with the primary survey, which includes the ABCDEs: airway, breathing, circulation, disability, and exposure, and the goal is to quickly assess and treat life-threatening injuries.
It starts with checking the patency of the airway and whether the individual requires endotracheal intubation.
As for breathing, you can look, listen, and feel.
So look at the respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and breathing pattern.
Also if there’s asymmetric breathing it could indicate a weak chest segment due to rib fractures.
After that feel for tenderness along the chest wall, which can occur with rib fractures.
If there are signs of shock it could be due to a number of causes like bleeding into the pleura or pericardium, obstruction of cardiac output in the setting of a tension pneumothorax, or inadequate cardiac output in the setting of myocardial injury.
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