Monday, September 23, 2013

What is flail chest?

What is flail chest?

Flail chest is a condition in which three or more ribs break at two points either on the one side of the chest or both sides of the sternum. In this way, the broken ribs have no attachment to the rest of the rib cage. So, the paradoxically moving chest after chest trauma refers to flail chest.

How to manage flail chest?

In minor cases where the patient is stable, the patient is observed with good analgesia and oxygenation until the flail segment stabilizes.
In severe cases, positive pressure ventilation can be required.

What are the complications of flail chest?

  • Pneumonia
  • ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome)
  • Need for mechanical ventilation
  • Respiratory failure
  • Death
  • Longer hospital stay
Click to enlarge the image.

 Keywords: Flail chest, Broken ribs, Chest trauma,

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