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    First Aid & Emergencies

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    Chest Injury Treatment

    Call 911

    • Emergency medical assistance is critical for any serious wound to the chest.
    • Even if there are no external wounds, there may be internal damage.

    1. Begin CPR, if Necessary

    If the person’s breathing has stopped or seems dangerously weak:

    2. Cover an Open Wound

    • Use a cloth, pad, piece of clothing, plastic, aluminum, or whatever is at hand.
    • If possible, cover two inches beyond the edge of the wound.
    • If blood bubbles up from the wound or you hear air passing through the chest cavity, tape cover down on three sides to prevent air from building up in the chest.
    • Do not remove any objects that have penetrated the chest.

    3. Stop Bleeding, if Necessary

    • Apply pressure over dressing to control bleeding.
    • If blood soaks through the dressing, apply additional dressing on top of old one.

    4. Position Person to Make Breathing Easier

    • If possible, place the person on the injured side or sitting up.

    5. Monitor Breathing

    • If breathing becomes weak, apply CPR as instructed above.

    6. Follow Up

    • The medical team will assess the injury and stabilize the person.
    • A blood transfusion may be necessary if there is significant blood loss.
    • Surgery is likely for a serious chest injury.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on September 12, 2015

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