Chest injuries are injuries to the chest wall (the bones, skin, fat, and muscles protecting your lungs, including your ribs and sternum) or any of the organs inside the chest.
Chest injuries include:
Chest injuries can be minor, such as bruising, or serious problems that need urgent medical attention.
One of the most common chest injuries is fractured ribs. These are caused by a strong blunt force, such as a fall from a height or a motor vehicle crash. In older people who have osteoporosis, only a slight force, such as a minor fall, can fracture a rib.
A fractured rib is rarely serious. However, the force that caused the fracture can occasionally cause other problems, such as a bruised or collapsed lung.
Chest injuries that interfere with breathing or circulation can be serious or life threatening.
If the injury is severe, there may be internal bleeding. This might be obvious (e.g., coughing up blood), or not so obvious (e.g., pale and clammy skin, nausea, extreme thirst).
Go to an emergency department or call an ambulance on triple zero (000) if you: