FAQ Level 3 Award for First Responders on Scene: Emergency First Responder (RQF) FROS® - Online Blended Part 1

218 videos, 11 hours and 47 minutes

Course Content

Chest Injuries

Video 174 of 218
3 min 11 sec
English
English
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Chest Injuries: Types, First Aid, and Treatment

Understanding Chest Injuries

Explore the various types of chest injuries and the crucial first aid steps required for each.

Closed Chest Injuries

Closed chest injuries can pose significant risks due to the vital organs housed within the chest cavity. Learn about their nature and the necessary actions:

  • Potential Severity: Closed chest injuries can be severe, impacting critical organs like the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels.
  • Example Scenario: A person involved in a car accident forcefully strikes their chest against the steering wheel.
  • Immediate Action: Most chest trauma cases require urgent medical attention. Always call for an ambulance in cases of potentially serious chest injuries.

Rib Cage Damage

One common consequence of chest trauma is damage to the rib cage. Understand the implications and symptoms:

  • Effects: The rib cage's curved structure offers some protection, but damage to cartilage or ribs can still occur.
  • Complications: Multiple broken ribs can lead to breathing difficulties as shallow breaths are taken to avoid pain.
  • Flail Segment: In severe cases, adjoining ribs breaking in different places can create a "flail" segment, causing painful and less effective breathing.
  • Signs and Symptoms: Watch for trouble breathing, shallow breaths, tenderness at the injury site, chest deformities, bruising, pain during movement/deep breathing/coughing, blue lips or nail beds, coughing up blood, and a crackling sensation upon touching the skin.

First Aid for Rib Injuries

Follow these initial steps when dealing with rib injuries:

  • Primary Concern: Prioritize monitoring the patient's ABCs (Airway, Breathing, Circulation).
  • Call for Help: Request an ambulance promptly.
  • Comfortable Position: Assist the victim into a comfortable position, usually seated upright.
  • Secondary Survey: Conduct a secondary assessment and closely monitor the patient's condition for any changes.

Open or "Sucking" Chest Wounds

Learn about open chest wounds and the critical actions to take when confronted with this type of injury:

  • Description: An open or "sucking" chest wound occurs when the chest wall is penetrated, e.g., by a knife, bullet, or sharp object.
  • Distinctive Signs: Listen for escaping air through the wound, and note the victim's breathing difficulties and pain. Blood may be present in their mouth or they may cough up blood.

First Aid for Open Chest Wounds

Follow these immediate actions for open chest wounds:

  • Primary Assessment: Begin by assessing the victim's ABCs.
  • Do Not Remove Objects: Avoid removing any embedded objects in the chest.
  • Request Ambulance: Call for an ambulance without delay.
  • Positioning: Lay the patient on their injured side to prevent complications with the good lung.
  • Treat for Shock: Provide shock treatment and maintain careful monitoring.

Updated First Aid Guidelines

Important information regarding the treatment of sucking chest wounds has been revised:

  • 2016 Rule Change: First aiders no longer use special dressings. The recommendation is to leave the wound open to the elements. Using dressings may pose a higher risk of harm.
  • Immediate Care: Prioritize patient care and seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible.

Summarizing Chest Injuries

Chest injuries are always serious, and initial first aid aims to stabilize and reassure the patient until emergency services arrive.