Pulmonary contusion: Review of the clinical entity

Stephen M. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Pulmonary contusion is a common lesion occurring in patients sustaining severe blunt chest trauma. Alveolar hemorrhage and parenchymal destruction are maximal during the first 24 hours after injury and then usually resolve within 7 days. The diagnosis of traumatic lung injury is usually made clinically with confirmation by chest x-ray films. The chest computed tomography scan is highly sensitive in identifying pulmonary contusion and may help predict the need for mechanical ventilation. Respiratory distress is common after lung trauma, with hypoxemia and hypercarbia greatest at about 72 hours. Although management of patients with pulmonary contusion is supportive, pneumonia and adult respiratory distress syndrome with long-term disability occur frequently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-979
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 1997


  • Blast injury
  • Pulmonary contusion
  • Traumatic lung injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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