Problems with the heart wall and the ability for the heart to contract
Fluid or blood in the thin sac surrounding the heart (pericardium)
Rib fractures, lung or blood vessel injury
Problem with the heart's electrical signaling (such as a bundle branch block or other heart block)
Fast heart beat starting at the sinus node of the heart (sinus tachycardia)
Abnormal heartbeast starting in the ventricls or lower chambers of the heart (ventricular dysrhythmia)
You will be closely monitored for 24 hours. An electrocardiogram (ECG) will be done continually to check your heart function.
Emergency room treatment may include:
Catheter placement through a vein (IV)
Medications to relieve pain, heart rate disturbances, or low blood pressure
Pacemaker (temporary, may be permanent later)
Other therapies may be used to treat a heart injury, include:
Chest tube placement
Draining blood from around the heart
Surgery to repair blood vessels in the chest
A complete recovery is usually seen in those with a mild myocardial contusion.
Serious heart injuries can increase your risk for heart failure or heart rhythm disturbances.
The following safety tips may help prevent a heart bruise:
Wear a seat belt when driving
Choose a car with air bags
Take appropriate safety precautions when working at heights
Hamilton RS. Myocardial contusion. In: Rosen P, Barkin RM, Hayden Sr, Schaider JJ, Wolfe R, eds. Rosen and Barkin's 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007.
Eckstein M, Henderson SO. Thoracic Trauma. In: Marx, JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. Saint Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier: 2009: chap 42.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.