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Description:From 1953 – 1955, this image depicted a hospitalized patient who had experienced a traumatic fall down a flight of stairs, which had resulted in a fractured rib, and a subsequent leakage of air into the subcutaneous tissues of the head and neck, known as crepitation, or subcutaneous emphysema.
The lungs are contained within the air-tight chest, or thoracic cavity. When the ribcage is expanded, the pressure inside the chest is reduced, and the higher pressure outside the body forces air into the lungs. If the chest cavity’s patency is compromised, as was the case here, with a puncture due to this patient’s rib fracture, air can escape into the soft tissues, rising up into the neck and head, and causing a condition known as crepitus, which when palpated, feels and sounds much like bubble wrap, imparting a crackling sound.
High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (17.96 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ K. Mae Lennon, Tulane Medical School; Clement Benjamin
Creation Date:1955
Photo Credit:
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.