How should I care for a sucking chest wound?

In addition to the information provided above, you should call 911 to transport the person emergently to the appropriate health care facility. This is a medical emergency. 
  • To care for a sucking chest wound, cover the wound with a large occlusive dressing. A piece of plastic wrap, or a plastic bag folded several times and placed over the wound, makes an effective occlusive dressing.
  • Tape the dressing in place except for one side or corner, which should remain loose.
  • A taped-down dressing keeps air from entering the wound when the person inhales, and having an open corner allows air to escape when the person exhales.
  • If these materials are not available to use as dressings, use a folded cloth.
  • Take steps to minimize shock. Monitor the person’s breathing.

Continue Learning about First Aid For Wounds

Are You Prepared to Save a Life?
Are You Prepared to Save a Life?
Hopefully, you’ll never be in a situation where someone is suffering life-threatening bleeding. However, uncontrolled bleeding is the leading cause of...
Read More
How should I care for someone with a closed wound?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
Many closed wounds, like bruises, do not require special medical care.To care for a closed wound, yo...
More Answers
How can I care for my stitches?
Brian Evans, MDBrian Evans, MD
The best way to care for stitches is to follow your doctor's advice and keep the stitches clean. Lea...
More Answers
How Do I Treat a Wound?
How Do I Treat a Wound?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.