Flail Chest and Pulmonary Contusion

Renata Bastos, John H. Calhoon, Clinton E. Baisden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Flail chest is most often accompanied by a significant underlying pulmonary parenchymal injury and can be a life-threatening thoracic injury. Its management is often complicated by the other injuries it is frequently associated with. Similarly, mortality and morbidity are dictated most often by the associated injuries and findings. Its treatment is complex and should first be one of pain management, judicious fluid resuscitation, and excellent pulmonary toilet. In those patients requiring mechanical ventilatory support, or who require ipsilateral thoracocotomy, rib stabilization may be considered depending on a host of potentially conflicting indications and contraindications. At the end of this section are listed the current major recommendations and their levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • blunt trauma
  • flail chest
  • lung contusion
  • pulmonary contusion
  • rib fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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