Lung ContusionsA lung contusion is a bruise that involves lung tissue. It occurs as the chest wall hits an object such as a steering wheel or by a forceful impact such as an explosion. This injury occurs most often in young people because the chest wall is more flexible than in older people. Symptoms may include coughing up blood and shortness of breath. A lung contusion usually heals without treatment within several days to a few weeks. Management of a lung contusion includes the use of an incentive spirometer (a breathing machine), and encouraging coughing and deep breathing. In more severe cases oxygen, blood tests and frequent suctioning for a patient on a breathing machine are all used to care for the contusion.