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Key messages

When a patient presents to an emergency department or urgent care centre, they should be given the best available information.

This updated fact sheet helps ensure clinicians and patients have access to easy-to-read information about different emergency conditions.

Give this fact sheet to your patients when discharging them from an emergency department or urgent care centre.

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Download our fact sheet to provide your patients with easy to follow guidance on fractured ribs.

This fact sheet has the #withconsumers tick from the Consumers Health Forum of Australia

Rib fractures (also known as ‘broken’ ribs) are one of the most common injuries to the chest. Ribs usually fracture (break or crack) at the point of impact or towards the back where they are weakest. Typically, you will have pain on deep breathing and coughing and it will be tender over one or more ribs. It may also feel hard to breathe.

X-rays may not always show broken ribs but are useful to check for damage to other structures. Depending on where the ribs are broken, there is potential for injury to other organs such as the spleen, liver, kidney or lungs. Your doctor or healthcare practitioner will assess you to exclude this.

Patient fact sheet

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Centre of Clinical Excellence - Acute
Safer Care Victoria

Page last updated: 15 Jan 2021

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