NCLEX RN Quiz # 987

NCLEX Examination.

Practice Question # 987.


nclex examination


Flail chest is frequently a complication of blunt chest trauma from a steering wheel injury. It usually occurs when three or more adjacent ribs (multiple contiguous ribs) are fractured at two or more sites, resulting in free-floating rib segments. It may also result as a combination fracture of ribs and costal cartilages or sternum (Owens, Chaudry, Eggerstedt & Smith, 2000). As a result, the chest wall loses stability and there is subsequent respiratory impairment and usually severe respiratory distress.

Regardless of the type of treatment, the patient is carefully monitored by serial chest x-rays, arterial blood gas analysis, pulse oximetry, and bedside pulmonary function monitoring. Pain management is key to successful treatment. Patient-controlled analgesia, intercostal nerve blocks, epidural analgesia, and intrapleural administration of opioids may be used to control thoracic pain.

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