Bleeding in the chest

Bleeding can occur from a broken rib or lung injury. The space where the lung sits (the chest cavity) is very large and can hold up to 5 litres (the total blood volume) so there is little you can do to stop it if you suspect it, other than get help and get them to hospital.

Possible signs include:

  • They may have sharp pain on one side with each breath, a bit like a chest wall injury.
  • They may be breathing rapidly.
  • The injured side of the chest may not be moving as much.
  • They may show poor perfusion of other organs like the skin and brain.
  • They may be PALE, COOL, CONFUSED or DROWSY.