Thoracic injuries account for 25% of all civilian deaths. Blunt force injuries are a subset of thoracic injuries and include injuries of the tracheobronchial tree, pleural space, and lung parenchyma. Early identification of these injuries during initial assessment and resuscitation is essential to reduce associated morbidity and mortality rates. Management of airway injuries includes definitive airway control with identification and repair of tracheobronchial injuries. Management of pneumothorax and hemothorax includes pleural space drainage and control of ongoing hemorrhage, along with monitoring for complications such as empyema and chylothorax. Injuries of the lung parenchyma, such as pulmonary contusion, may require support of oxygenation and ventilation through both conventional and nonconventional mechanical ventilation strategies. General strategies to improve pulmonary function and gas exchange include balanced fluid resuscitation to targeted volume-based resuscitation end points, positioning therapy, and pain management.

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