Search in�� ��for��
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
Birthing Center Tours
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Privacy Notice

Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Pulmonary Contusion

Pull-mo-nair-e Con-too-zhun



A pulmonary contusion is a bruise -like injury to the lungs.

The Lungs (cut-away view)

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Causes    TOP

A pulmonary contusion is caused by blunt trauma or occasionally by penetrating trauma to the chest wall.


Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that may increase the risk of pulmonary contusion include:

  • Being in a motor vehicle accident
  • Playing contact sports
  • Gunshot wound to the chest
  • Falls in the home
  • Taking blood thinners

Symptoms    TOP

Symptoms may not occur right away but can develop and worsen 24-48 hours after the injury. Symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about how you got injured, your symptoms, and your medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your bodily fluids may be tested with blood tests to look for signs of internal bleeding.

Images may be taken of your chest to look for evidence of damage to lung tissue or other chest structures. This can be done with:


Treatment    TOP

A pulmonary contusion can also result in complications, such as a collapsed lung or chest bleeding. It may also go along with other chest injuries, such as broken ribs or lung laceration. These injuries can interfere with the ability to breathe properly. Without proper treatment, complications, such as pneumonia, may result.

Treatment will depend on the severity of your injury and other injuries you may also have. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

Emergency Medical Care

Close monitoring will be needed. Emergency care may include:

  • Pain medication
  • Oxygen therapy to improve the amount of oxygen in the blood
  • Mechanical ventilation to take over or support breathing if the lung is severely damaged


Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication may be advised to reduce pain.


Prevention    TOP

Prevention will depend on the cause, but may include:

  • Wearing appropriate safety equipment when playing contact sports
  • Wearing a seatbelt when in a motor vehicle to help prevent accident-related chest trauma

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians



Health Canada

Trauma Association of Canada


Chest trauma. Trauma.org website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed November 28, 2017.

Pulmonary contusion. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated January 2017. Accessed November 28, 2017.

Pulmonary contusion. Radiopaedia.org website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed November 28, 2017.

Pulmonary contusion. University of Connecticut—Korey Stringer Institute website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed November 28, 2017.

Pulmonary contusion—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T908625/Pulmonary-contusion-emergency-management . Accessed November 28, 2017.

Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James Cornell, MD
Last Updated 12/21/2016

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers

Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000