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Heart & Cardiology/chest pain after car wreck


Hello Doctor,
10 days ago I was a passenger in a car slowly turning left when we were hit head on by a 60 mile an hour car running a red light. I was wearing a seatbelt and airbags deployed. There was no intrusion into the car. Immediately afterwards I had severe chest pains, very difficult to take a deep breath due to pain, chest bruising under the seatbelt. I was taken to the hospital via ambulance and had a normal chest xray there. I had a follow up with my doctor a week later, who listened to heart and lungs and said it would just take time. I am 63 years old and in good physical health. The problem is,even though the bruises are disappearing, my chest pain is still there, sometimes comes in waves, sometimes very difficult to find a comfortable position laying down. My question is, is there anything I should be concerned about because of this continuing chest pain? I go back to the doctor in 2 weeks. Is it normal to still have pain 10 days later? I guess I am surprised that so little imaging was done, not even an EKG and it was a high speed severe accident. I would like your opinion, thank you.

Hi Cristina,
I cannot judge whether your evaluation was adequate, but a chest wall contusion can take a long time to heal. If still concerned you should ask your doctor for a CT scan of your chest: it will show injuries not seen on a regular chest X ray (as a retired CT surgeon I have treated many patients like you).
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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