Chest injury is any injury to the chest area, between the neck and the abdomen. The injury may be to the chest wall itself, or any of the organs inside the chest.
Chest injuries include:
- bruising or abrasions (cuts and grazes) to the chest area
- broken bones (for example ribs)
- damage to the lungs or heart.
Minor chest injuries such as bruising are common. Chest injuries may be caused by either:
- a blunt injury, such as from sport, or from a punch or kick, or from a fall
- a penetrating wound, such as from a gun or a knife
- a crushing injury, such as from a road accident.
If the injury is severe, there may be internal bleeding. This might be obvious (e.g. coughing up blood), or not so obvious (e.g. pale and clammy skin, nausea, extreme thirst). If you think you may have internal bleeding, you should call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your chest injury, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
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Last reviewed: November 2017