A nurse is caring for a patient that sustained a traumatic chest injury causing flail chest. The nurse assesses the patient for which distinctive characteristic of flail chest?


•Flail chest is a life-threatening condition that involves two or more fractures of adjacent ribs. This causes the flail segment to move in the opposite direction of the other ribs, causing trauma and contusions.

•Dyspnea and bloody sputum are common with flail chest but are not distinctive characteristics.

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