Sucking Chest Wound- 4 Dangerous Complications Involved With Treatment!

    Sucking Chest Wound- All You Need To Know!

    A sucking chest wound or SCW occurs when an injury leaves a hole in the chest. Sucking chest wounds are often caused due to gunshot, stabbing, or some other injures that might penetrate one’s chest.

    Some signs of sucking chest wound include the following:

    • Coughing up blood.
    • Pinkish or bright red foaming blood near the wound.
    • Heavy bleeding from wounds
    • Sucking or hissing sound when one inhales and exhales.
    • An opening in the chest occurs which may be about the size of a coin.

    A sucking chest wound sometimes does not make a hissing sound or any noise in some cases. Any wound that occurs due to chest penetration is treated as a sucking chest wound.

    Here’s what you need to do if you have a sucking chest wound.

    Immediate first aid in case of sucking chest wound

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    If you think an object is protruding still from the wounds, make sure you do not remove it. This might make the injury even worse and hard to treat. Try to contact the local emergency services as soon as possible. If you do not receive emergency services at the moment, get the person with a wound to a nearby hospital where medical treatment is readily available.

    Follow the steps that your emergency service operator or doctor provides you at the moment. You might be directed or asked by the doctors to do the following things:

    • Sterilize your hands using water and soap to avoid infection.
    • Put any hand protection like gloves.
    • Remove any objects covering the wound like loose clothing. Make sure you are not removing the clothes are re-stuck to the wound as it may cause pain ad make the condition worse.
    • Keep your hand over the wound when you prepare the dressing. Protect your hands using a glove or any other hand protection. If possible, have anyone else put their one hand to cover the wound. If there’s no one to do so, let the injured person only cover the wound if they are conscious enough to do so.
    • Find a sterile or chest seal medical grade plastic or medical tape for sealing the chest sucking wound. If you do not see any medical plastic at the moment, you may also go for a credit card or Ziploc bag for the wound. Use your hands if you do not have any other options to cover.
    • If it is possible, ask the individual to breathe out as it helps release excess air in the chest.
    • Place plastic, tape, or chests seal over the hole or wound that is sucking in air, including exit and entry wound. Make sure no air is entering the wounds.
    • Secure the seal or tape using occlusive dressing or any same kind of wrapping material that helps create an airtight and water-tight seal. Make sure that the seal has one side open to let the air out without letting any of it inside.
    • If you notice any signs of tension pneumothorax, you should remove the seal. This usually occurs when one of the lungs leaks air inside the chest thus building pressure. This may lead to extremely low blood pressure or shock which may be highly fatal.
    • Some systems include cracking sound when the individual is breathing in or out called subcutaneous emphysema, cyanosis which refers to finger and lips blueness, jugular vein distention which refers to enlarged neck veins, shallow breathes, and anyone side of their chest appears slightly larger than the other one.
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    Keep the individual on their side unless it becomes harder for them to breathe. Let out as much air as possible from their best while ensuring that they can still breathe.

    If that person falls unconscious during this procedure or stops breathing, here are few things you must do:

    • Perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
    • Use a blanket so that their body does not get much cold.
    • Don’t let them eat or drink anything.
    • Put pressure on their wounds so that bleeding slows down.

    Diagnosis of a sucking chest wound

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    It can be tricky to distinguish whether a sharp and deep wound in the chest is absorbing or sucking air or not. They do not always cause noise.

    Consider any penetrating injury to the chest as a sucking chest wound, whether or not you hear it hissing or making some sound.

    How treatment takes place in a hospital

    Once the doctors admit the person to a hospital, these things may be performed to save them:

    1. A face mask is placed over their mouth and nose so that oxygen is delivered into their body.
    2. The patient is also connected to an IV or intravenous catheter and injected anesthesia so that doctors can operate easily.
    3. When the surgery takes place, a small cut on the incision is made on their chest and a tube is inserted inside the chest cavity or pleural space. This is done to drain fluids from the region around the patient lungs. This chest tube inserted stays inside until excess fluid and air are drained.
    4. Then the surgeons perform surgery to suture or stick the wound so that no further bleeding occurs and no air enters the pleural space.
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    Complications involved with the procedure

    Some of the possible complications that might b involved in sucking chest wound are:

    • Tension pneumothorax-“Pneumothorax” is the therapeutic name for a collapsed lung. Pneumothorax is seen when air infiltrates the space nearby your lungs also called the pleural space. Air can discover its way into this pleural space when there is an exposed wound in your chest wall or maybe a rupture in the lung tissue, disturbing the pressure that keeps the lungs expanded.Conditions of the ruptured chest or lung walls may incorporate lung infection, injury from some sport or maybe an accident, supported breathing with a ventilator, or even modifications in air pressure experienced when activities like scuba diving or mountain climbing are performed. Sometimes the event that causes a pneumothorax is strange and unknown.
    • Hypoxia or loss of oxygen inside the blood-When the body does not hold enough oxygen, you may get hypoxia or hypoxemia conditions. These are serious conditions. With no oxygen, your liver, brain, and other organs in the body can be susceptible to damage just moments after signs start to appear.Hypoxemia refers to low oxygen in your blood and can cause hypoxia which means low oxygen in the tissues when the blood fails to carry sufficient oxygen to the tissues to satisfy your body’s requirements. The word hypoxia is seldom used to represent both difficulties.
    • Hypotension or shock from oxygen and blood loss-Hypotension is the therapeutic term to describe low blood pressure typically less than 90/60. A blood pressure text appears as two numbers. The primary number and leading of the two is the standard measure of systolic pressure, referring to the pressure inside the arteries when one’s heart pounds and fills with blood.
    • Building up fluid inside the chest cavity– Pleural effusion is the term that described this condition. It is also mentioned as “water on the lungs,” which refers to the build-up of fluid within the layers of the pleura just outside the lungs. The pleura are delicate and thin membranes that form the lining of the lungs and the interior of the chest cavity and work to grease or lubricate and facilitate breathing.
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    Injuries to vital organs like lungs, heart, and gastrointestinal system.

    Recovering from sucking chest wound

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    If a Sucking Chest Wound is not handled quickly inside the medical facility, it could be highly fatal.

    Normal healing from a sucking Chest Wound needs about 7 to 10 days, or even longer if there are many wounds. Further operations may be required to attend to any holes in the lungs, flesh, heart, or any other organs that may have happened.

    based on how large the wound is and what additional treatments are needed, full recovery may even take three to six months.

    The Bottom Line

    Sucking chest wounds can be dangerous and deadly or cause serious health ailments if not treated immediately. Doing a quick first aid within the first few moments or minutes of a wound or getting the person immediately to a hospital can prevent long-term complications and save one’s life.

    This was everything on sucking chest wounds and how you can perform a first-aid if you do not get immediate or emergency help.


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