Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How serious can a blow to the chest be?"
Last night I was playing in a game and collided with a guy much bigger than me. When we hit, something of his struck me in the chest. I immediately lost my breath and didn't regain it for about 10-15 minutes. Still, it is hard to breathe, extremely painful to the touch, and it is hard to do even the simplest of things. Thanks!
Thank you for your question, and I am sorry to hear about your injury. In order to provide an accurate diagnosis, a physician would need to collect a thorough medical history and perform a detailed physical exam. Depending on these results, you may also need to undergo additional testing. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician. Only after collecting this information will it be possible to offer a final diagnosis. Blunt injury to the chest and abdomen can cause many different illnesses. Such an injury can lead to a tear of your aorta, called an aortic dissection, or rupture of the aorta. This is often fatal. You may also have suffered a contusion to your heart or lung. Both injuries can lead to fluid accumulation around either organ and can impair your heart's pumping ability or your lung function. Other possible injuries include rib or sternum fracture, splenic laceration, or liver laceration. Some of these injuries only require supportive care while others can lead to life threatening situation. It is not possible to determine the cause of your difficulty breathing and chest pain without further evaluation. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to see a primary care physician.
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