Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Open Chest Injury

If the rig cage is open up, air is sucked into the chest cavity. Thus there is no longer a vacuum between chest wall and lung, and the lung – since it is elastic – collapses, and no longer contributes to the breathing process.

If the opening is so large that air enters and leaves the chest cavity when the casualty breathes, the chest organs become unstable because of the constant movement (mediastinal shift), which can within a very short time lead to circulation changes.

Symptom and Signs

  • Wound, may be accompanied by whistling or slurping noise
  • Air bubbles in the wound
  • Spitting of Blood
  • Extreme breathing difficulties


Breathing becomes increasingly difficult because the lung is no longer able to expand – severe shock – death caused by circulation failure.

First Aid

  • Place a sterile dressing over the wound
  • Help the casualty into a half-sitting, if feasible, turn him to his injured side.
  • Treat for shock
  • Emergency call

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