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Bruised Lung – Everything You Need to Know


A bruised lung (lung contusion) results from a blow to the chest. A direct hit to the chest can damage the blood vessels, resulting in fluid and blood accumulation in the lungs.

Too much fluid in the lungs can alter the amount of oxygen the body receives. It also causes troubled breathing and pain. If a bruised lung is not treated immediately, it could lead to fatal complications.

The present post sheds light on bruised lungs symptoms. This article explores various aspects of the lung contusion.

Let’s find out everything about pulmonary contusion and what a bruised lung feels like.

Bruised Lung

A pulmonary contusion is a lung bruise that occurs when the chest is injured. When the lung capillaries are ruptured, blood and other fluids accumulate in the lung tissue. If there is an excess of fluid, gas exchange is disrupted, and there may not be sufficient oxygen (hypoxia) due to bruised lung.

In pulmonary contusion, the lung tissue is not sliced or ripped, as in pulmonary laceration, a different type of lung injury. A pulmonary contusion is typically induced by a direct impact on the chest, although it can also be caused by explosions or a shock wave from a puncture wound.

Bruised lung fails to absorb enough oxygen. The capacity to absorb oxygen depends on the severity of the trauma causing the bruise. There is less oxygen if the trauma is severe and the bruise is large.

A pulmonary contusion can result from any force that strikes the lungs. Whether you fall or are flung into the steering wheel of a vehicle, the impact can cause damage to your lungs. Motor vehicle accidents cause 70% of all pulmonary contusions.

Chest trauma is indicated by chest discomfort, a change in mental state, a painful chest wall during a physical examination, a painful injury, and intoxication.

Most pulmonary contusions are caused by direct chest trauma due to automobile accidents and falls. There are also more factors, such as contact sports and fighting. When more than 20 percent of a lung is damaged, the likelihood of a negative outcome increases dramatically.

Respiratory tract infections, severe lung infections, and acute respiratory distress syndrome are severe complications associated with a bruised lung. Additionally, when these conditions exist, oxygen levels are frequently low.

Depending on how much lung tissue was damaged, it might take days to weeks for the lung to heal. If the pain persists, you should book an appointment with the doctor.

Bruised Lungs Symptoms 

Bruised lungs symptoms can sometimes be immediate. However, certain individuals may not feel the symptoms instantly.

There are various possible clinical symptoms. A small bruise could not even produce symptoms. The alveolar gas exchange is interrupted when the lungs are badly injured, decreasing arterial oxygen concentration.

The patient will have dyspnea, tachypnea, and tachycardia due to tissue hypoxia. The clinical signs are uncommon and generally develop gradually. When done over the contusion-affected region, auscultation may reveal reduced respiration sounds.

Additionally, breathing difficulties and coughing may be identified. Excessive bronchorrhea and hemoptysis are extremely rare and seen only in patients with a severe contusion. In addition to tachycardia and hypotension, chest pain, rib fractures, hematoma, and subcutaneous emphysema are possible symptoms in the affected area.

The following are the bruised lungs symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain
  • Coughing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Emphysema
  • Excessive bronchial fluid
  • Wheezing
  • Bluish skin
  • Coughing up blood 

What Does A Bruised Lung Feel Like? 

It will take some time for symptoms and signs to manifest. After a mild injury, the patient’s health worsens gradually, and the typical clinical picture appears 24 to 48 hours later.

Within hours, symptoms of severe damage manifest, and it can even result in death. In contrast, a mild injury appears between 24 and 48 hours following the incident.

Shortness of breath and pain are the most prominent symptoms. Usually, chest wall (the ribs and chest muscle) injury is responsible for the pain. It is difficult and unpleasant to breathe.

Initially, individuals may exhibit no signs or symptoms. Shortness of breath will worsen after a few hours.

When chest trauma directly or indirectly destroys the lung’s parenchyma, it can induce lung contusion, resulting in edema or alveolar hematoma and a loss of the lung’s normal structure and function. Both blunt and penetrating chest injuries can result in lung contusion.

In the first twenty-four hours following this type of injury, the patient will experience impaired gas exchange, increased pulmonary vascular resistance, and decreased pulmonary compliance. Depending on the etiology of the lung contusion, it may be accompanied by soft tissue injury, bone fractures, or numerous traumas.

Treatment Options for Bruised Lung

The provision of an appropriate diagnosis considers the patient’s overall health and the circumstances surrounding the injury. The physicians also review the results of the physical examination, the imaging tests, and some laboratory tests.

The respiratory parameters recorded during mechanical ventilation can provide additional information and aid in making a definitive diagnosis, if necessary.

The appropriate therapy will depend on the severity of the injury. Your bruised lungs symptoms will be evaluated, and your physician will perform different tests to determine if the fluid has entered your lungs. In addition to lung injury, these tests can determine if there was further damage.

Here are some tests that doctors may perform to determine the severity of lung bruises:

  • Ultrasound
  • Chest X-ray
  • Chest CT scans
  • Oxygen level tests  

The primary objectives of treatment are to increase the blood’s oxygen content and reduce the patient’s pain. The recovery of the lung tissue will take some time.

Doctors frequently recommend oxygen treatment to aid patients’ breathing. If you cannot breathe independently, you may be placed on a ventilator to assist your lungs in maintaining normal breathing.

The physician may also prescribe medication to alleviate the pain and bruises caused by the lungs. You may need breathing support to help you breathe and get more oxygen into your blood if fluid accumulates.

Deep breathing exercises are also beneficial as they help in enhancing the airflow to your lungs and speed up your recovery.


A heavy chest blow or a rapid injury might induce a lung contusion (bruised lung). There are varying degrees of pain and injury severity. If this is followed by shortness of breath, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Any major chest injury, like a fall or car accident, should be evaluated at an emergency hospital to determine its severity.

If a pulmonary contusion is not treated immediately, it might lead to fatal complications. HG Analytics utilizes the power of data analytics to assist you in avoiding health risks and living a long, happy life.

You will be able to recognize the early warning signs and symptoms of several diseases, including lung contusion, with our health analytics, screening technologies, and preventative care.

It will allow you to confront these issues earlier and more directly than ever. So, call us at (844) 250-1714 and book your appointment now.

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