Blunt chest trauma represents a spectrum of injuries to the heart and aorta that vary markedly in character and severity. The setting, signs, and symptoms of chest trauma are often nonspecific, which represents a challenge to emergency providers. Individuals with suspected blunt chest trauma who have only mild or no symptoms, a normal electrocardiogram (ECG), and are hemodynamically stable typically have a benign course and rarely require further diagnostic testing or long periods of close observation. Individuals with pain, ECG abnormalities, or hemodynamic instability may require rapid evaluation of the heart by echocardiography and the great vessels by advanced imaging.
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