THE LUNG is subject to damage from nonpenetrating injuries to the thorax. The more severe injuries to the lung, with hemothorax and pneumothorax, have been repeatedly stressed in the literature,1 but the minor degrees of injury resulting in contusion have received little attention. In an army hospital receiving patients with combat injuries from the army air forces all gradations of injury from contusion to rupture of the lung from nonpenetrating injuries were seen. The agents responsible for the changes in the lung were blast from high explosive shells, blows from blunt objects and nonpenetrating wounds caused by high velocity missiles. Of particular interest, and the subject of this report, were the rapidly clearing areas of pulmonary consolidation noted in some of the cases of injury to the thoracic wall.
Blast injuries to the chest from high explosives have been emphasized in the past war.2 The accepted explanation for