Lung Contusion: Treatment & Recovery Time

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Lung Contusion: Management & Complications

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What is a Lung Contusion?
  • 0:42 Lung Contusion Treatment
  • 2:12 Recovery Time & Prognosis
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

While a bruised leg is usually nothing to worry about, a bruised lung will most likely be a cause for concern. Find out why as we go over the treatment, recovery time, and prognosis of lung contusions.

What is a Lung Contusion?

A lung contusion is a term for a bruised lung. The bruising causes excessive accumulation of fluids, like blood in the lung tissue. This makes it difficult for the person to breathe, and in more serious cases can result in low levels of oxygen in the blood and other complications. The main signs and symptoms of a lung contusion are difficulty breathing and pain. The pain namely stems from an injured chest, which was traumatized by something that led to the lung contusion. This could be blunt force trauma from something like a car accident.

This lesson is going to go over the major treatment options and expected recovery time for a lung contusion.

Lung Contusion Treatment

Many contusions don't require any specific therapy. The treatment is supportive in nature and/or based on the prevention of any additional problems while the bruise heals.

As you just learned, one of the major symptoms of a lung contusion is pain. To this end, people may be given analgesics, which is just a fancy word for pain relievers. This will also make it easier for them to breathe since it won't be as painful to do so. Think about it: if you are in serious pain when you try to breathe in or out, would you take nice deep breaths? Probably not. A lack of deep breathing would make it difficult for the lungs and blood to adequately exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen, so the pain relievers help alleviate the pain, helping the person take nice deep breaths on their own.

The fluid found in lung tissue as a result of a lung contusion can impair the exchange of oxygen, thus lowering blood oxygen levels. This results in hypoxemia, or low levels of oxygen in the blood. To counter this problem, a patient may be given supplemental oxygen. Like a vitamin C supplement boosts vitamin C levels in the body, supplemental oxygen will help increase the levels of oxygen in a person's blood. This is important because the entire body depends on oxygen for essential life processes.

Sometimes, pain relievers and supplemental oxygen are not enough. In some instances, a person may require mechanical ventilation. This means a machine (a ventilator) will assist them in breathing in and breathing out while their injuries heal.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account