A haemorrhage of the heart caused by a blow to the chest with a blunt object, for example, resulting from a collision between players in a contact sport or when a hard ball hits the sternum. It is difficult to diagnose, but should be suspected after trauma to the chest wall causes bruising. Cardiac dysrhythmias are most likely to occur within the first 24 h of the trauma (if they occur at all). They can be fatal. Anyone experiencing heart irregularities or chest pain after a chest trauma should be admitted to hospital for a thorough investigation.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.