Flail chest is a condition in which the injury to the chest wall was so great that a section or group of fractured ribs cause the chest wall to become instable and make breathing difficult. This injury most commonly occurs due to a blunt, direct hit to the chest wall, often in a motor vehicle accident, resulting in three or more adjacent ribs to fracture.
The force required to cause a flail chest injury is so great that often there are numerous associated injuries to the heart and lungs resulting in immediate loss of consciousness. The severity of their injury is often noticed when watching them breathe – you will see a section of their chest wall moving in and out dramatically as they inhale and exhale.
These people will have difficulty breathing and a great deal of pain.
Depending on the severity of the injury and the amount of difficulty you have breathing, a breathing tube may be necessary. Surgery to stabilize the chest wall where the ribs are fractured is necessary once the patient is stable and any other injuries have been assessed. Often, pain medication through an IV, such as morphine, will be started upon arrival at the hospital.
If any associated injuries are not life-threatening, the typical prognosis is a good recovery.
Obtaining The Compensation You Deserve
A victim suffering from a flail chest injury may experience life-changing consequences as a result of the accident. Family members will also have to consider the cost of extensive medical treatment and aftercare. We understand the importance of holding negligent parties responsible for your injuries. Our diligent St. Louis cardiac trauma lawyers can help your family obtain full compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. For a free case evaluation, please call us at (314) 322-8515 today.