What is a flail lung?
A flail chest arises when these injuries cause a segment of the chest wall to move independently of the rest of the chest wall. A flail chest can create a significant disturbance to respiratory physiology. This disturbance in respiratory function is important in patients who are older or who have chronic lung disease.
What is flail movement?
Symptoms of Flail Chest The most telling symptom is paradoxical movement of a portion of the chest wall—that is, the affected area draws in when the patient breathes in and the rest of the chest expands, and the affected area moves outwards as the patient exhales and the rest of the chest contracts.
How do you treat a flail segment?
Use a pillow to put pressure on the flail segment. Holding the flail segment in place keeps it from moving in the opposite direction of the surrounding muscle and bone. Stabilizing the area will reduce the chances of damage to the heart, lungs, and surrounding tissues.
What does a flail chest look like?
The chest moving unevenly between the separated part and rest of the chest is often the most definitive sign that you have a flail chest. The area of your chest that’s been traumatized will draw in when you breathe in, while the rest of your chest expands outward.
Why is it called flail chest?
This so-called “paradoxical breathing” is painful and increases the work involved in breathing. Flail chest is usually accompanied by a pulmonary contusion, a bruise of the lung tissue that can interfere with blood oxygenation….
Why does flail chest occur?
Flail chest — defined as two or more contiguous rib fractures with two or more breaks per rib — is one of the most serious of these injuries and is often associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. It occurs when a portion of the chest wall is destabilized, usually from severe blunt force trauma.
How serious is a flail chest?
What is the pathophysiology of flail chest?
(A) Flail chest occurs when multiple rib fractures result in a loss of stability of the chest wall. The loss of continuity with the remainder of the rib cage causes the flail segment to move paradoxically. (B) Pressure within the chest is negative during inspiration, causing the flail segment to retract.
Does flail chest need intubation?
Although many patients with flail chest require intubation, advances in the knowledge of physiology and chest wall mechanics, as well as the potential morbidity of prolonged mechanical ventilation, have reestablished that it is the severity of the underlying lung injury and not the flail segment that causes a problem.
What is a flail chest and how do you treat it?
Flail chest is a serious injury, and treatment must be given immediately. Treatment will aim to protect the lungs and ensure that the individual can breathe sufficiently. An oxygen mask will be applied to assist with breathing, and medication will be given to help relieve the pain.