If you are involved in an accident, you may experience several different injuries. Some may be mild, while others are more severe. A potentially deadly injury you may experience is called a flail chest.
A flail chest is a unique type of rib fracture that occurs when three or more ribs are broken in at least two places. When this happens, part of the broken rib bone is not connected to any other bones around them. When this happens, it can make it difficult, if not impossible, to breathe.
Why does flail chest happen?
Injuries like flail chest are more severe. It typically occurs because of blunt force trauma to your chest. While it is most common in car accidents, it can also occur if you fall from a height, are in a motorcycle accident or fall from a horse or bike.
Symptoms of flail chest
Flail chest can be diagnosed using an X-ray. However, if this injury is present, you will experience certain symptoms. One of the most common is paradoxical movement, which is when the broken segment of bone moves in and out as you breathe.
Other symptoms of this condition include:
- Swelling, discoloration, or bruising of the area where the ribs broke
- Marks on your chest
- Severe and sharp pain in the chest
- Issues taking a full breath or inhaling
This injury can be deadly if you don’t receive treatment right away.
Protecting your rights after an accident
If someone else is determined to be at fault for your accident, you might be able to file a lawsuit against them to recover damages. It is smart to learn your legal rights to determine if this option applies to you.