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Pulmonary contusion in a collegiate diver: a case report

Mathew W Lively

Author Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 9167, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

Journal of Medical Case Reports 2011, 5:362  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-5-362

Published: 10 August 2011



Pulmonary contusions typically occur after high-energy trauma and have rarely been reported as occurring during participation in sports. This is the first reported case of a pulmonary contusion occurring in a sport other than football.

Case Presentation

A 19-year-old Caucasian man impacted the water awkwardly after diving off a one-meter springboard. He complained of chest discomfort and produced immediate hemoptysis. Computed tomography confirmed the diagnosis of pulmonary contusion. The athlete recovered without complications and returned to activity one week after injury.


Immediate hemoptysis following blunt chest trauma during sports activity may indicate an underlying pulmonary contusion. No specific guidelines exist for return to athletic competition following pulmonary contusion, but a progressive return to activities once symptoms resolve appears to be a reasonable approach.