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Pulmonary contusion is another name for a bruised lung. A blow to your chest, such as from hitting a car steering wheel or air bag, can bruise your lung.
If the injury isn't too bad, you may feel some soreness in your chest and then start to feel better in a few days. If the injury is more serious, you may have a lot of pain from damaged muscles, cartilage, or ribs in your chest. You may even have coughed up blood after the injury.
Your doctor may advise you to cough and take deep breaths, even though your chest hurts. Breathing deeply and coughing can help keep the air passages in your lungs open and free of mucus.
A bruised lung can take one or more weeks to heal, depending on how badly your lungs were injured.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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