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Pulmonary Contusion (PC)

Pulmonary trauma; lung contusion

A pulmonary contusion (or lung contusion) is a contusion (bruise) of the lung, caused by chest trauma. As a result of damage to capillaries, blood and other fluids accumulate in the lung tissue. The excess fluid interferes with gas exchange, potentially leading to inadequate oxygen levels (hypoxia). Unlike pulmonary laceration, another type of lung injury, pulmonary contusion does not involve a cut or tear of the lung tissue. A pulmonary contusion is usually caused directly by blunt trauma but can also result from explosion injuries or a shock wave associated with penetrating trauma. With the use of explosives during World Wars I and II, pulmonary contusion resulting from blasts gained recognition.