Neonatal pneumothorax

Case contributed by Dr Jeremy Jones


Neonatal pneumothorax with chest drain in situ. Persistent high pressures required.

Patient Data

Age: 3 days
Gender: Male

There is a large right pneumothorax demonstrated on AP and lateral films with a pig-tail catheter in situ with its tip at the apex. 

Case Discussion

Large right supine pneumothorax with a drain in situ.

The lateral radiograph demonstrates why the drain isn't working. In a neonate, the anterior (and not apical) chest is anti-dependant and that is where the collection of gas in the hemithorax is.

The neonatologist was about to put a new chest tube in when the film was reported - a telephone call to the team and subsequent manipuation of the tube saved the child from another intervention and the pneumothorax was drained successfully.

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Case information

rID: 27206
Published: 23rd Jan 2014
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
Tag: lateral
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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