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Understanding more about breastbone injuries

Kentucky residents may be surprised to learn that 60 to 90 percent of all sternum fractures are attributable to car crashes. These types of injuries may be commonly referred to as a breastbone fracture. In contrast, these types of injuries only constitute up to 8 percent of all reports detailing chest trauma. Vehicle occupants over age 50 are more susceptible to suffering these types of injuries than children inside the automobile.

When these injuries result from car crashes, the cause is typically attributed to an air bag or seat belt failure. The injury occurs when the chest is suddenly flexed or sustains a forceful impact, such as striking the dashboard. The sternum is the bone centered at the midline of the chest. This breastbone and rib bones are connected by cartilage, forming the front portion of the rib cage.

Breastbone injuries may lead to other complications a well, since the rib cage functions as protection for the body's vital organs. A grinding or crunching noise at the time of the injury may be one of the first indications of suffering a cracked sternum injury. Accident victims who experience trouble breathing or pains in the chest may be suffering from a fractured sternum as well. When an accident victim suffers a sternum fracture and rib fractures, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries that could affect the lungs and heart.

People suffering chest injuries from car accidents may benefit from consulting legal counsel. Lawyers may be prepared to review the police report and witness statements in an effort to help identify the person most likely to be held liable for the resulting damages. Legal counsel may also help review insurance claims in an effort to ensure that plaintiffs are properly compensated for the ensuing damages.

Source: SteadyHealth, "Dangers Of Sternum Fracture (Breast Bone)," Dr. Vijay Kumar Soni, Accessed April 13, 2015

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