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Flail Chest 

Flail Chest
Flail Chest

Sumedh S. Hoskote

, John C. O’Horo

, and Craig E. Daniels

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date: 25 January 2021

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.

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