Family, Internal Medicine, General Medical Questions/Holes in my chest

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Question
I have a hole in the left side of my chest and 4 gashes on my upper left torso, also have a few gashes on my left shoulder, and my ribs are broken on the left side as well. Everytime I take a breath, a weird hissing sound, along with frothy blood comes out of the hole in my chest, making it hard for me to breathe. What will the EMT's and doctors do to treat my condition, and after I leave the hospital, what can I do for self care at home?

Answer
You should really do your own homework, but this is a sucking chest wound so initially the EMT will cover the chest hole and tape on three sides to provide a flap that closes when you inhale and lets air out when you exhale.  You also have a flail chest with broken ribs, making normal breathing difficult.  Then the surgeon will insert a chest tube and you stay in the hospital for a while.  A newer technique is to brace the broken ribs with little metal braces screwed into the ribs to stabilize them.  As it heals, the chest tube is removed and then assuming the lung stays inflated and there is no infection, you can go  home to recover.     The gashes are inconsequential.

Family, Internal Medicine, General Medical Questions

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Robert Borucki

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I am an expert in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine.

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I am trained and boarded in Family Medicine and have also worked extensively in emergency medicine for over 10 years.

BA in Natural Sciences; MD in 1986

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