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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Amy was riding her bicycle on a busy street when a car made

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Amy was riding her bicycle on a busy street when a car made a sudden right turn out of the left lane of traffic directly in front of her. Though she hit her brakes as hard as she could, she ended up crashing into the rear door of the vehicle at a high speed. Immediately after hitting the ground she felt a sudden, sharp pain in the left side of her thorax and experienced sudden dyspnea (shortness of breath, difficulty breathing). Given her symptoms, what has likely happened to her? Explain as completely as possible the mechanisms behind her injury and symptoms.
Amy may have only sustained a chest wall contusion and may be short of breath from pain, and it's even possible that she fractured a rib and is dyspneic from the pain. That said, she may have sustained a pneumothorax--a tear in the lining of the lung with air escaping into the chest cavity. A less likely injury would be a tear in the thoracic aorta. At any rate, Amy needs immediate medical attention at an ER
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