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Definition of Flail chest

Flail chest: A condition that occurs when enough ribs are broken (usually from a crush injury) to compromise the rigidity of the chest wall. On inspiration, the chest wall moves inward instead of outward, and it does the opposite on expiration.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3473
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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