Flail Chest

Sumedh S. Hoskote, John C. O’Horo and Craig E. Daniels

in Mayo Clinic Critical Care Case Review

Published on behalf of © Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research 2016

Published in print June 2016 | ISBN: 9780190464813
Published online June 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190464844 | DOI:

Series: Mayo Clinic Scientific Press

Flail Chest

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Flail chest refers to a deformity of the chest wall caused by fracture of at least 3 consecutive ribs, each broken at 2 or more places. Flail chest may cause or exacerbate respiratory failure through paradoxical chest wall motion during the phases of respiration: The characteristic physical examination finding is that the flail segment moves inward during inspiration and outward during expiration. Management of flail chest requires attention to clinical recognition, mechanical ventilation, analgesia, and, in certain circumstances, surgical fixation.

Chapter.  1198 words. 

Subjects: Critical Care

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