Spontaneous pneumothorax

Case contributed by Dr Derek Smith


Background of COPD. Sudden onset breathlessness and left sided chest pain. Reduced oxygen saturations and tachycardia.

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

Large left sided pneumothorax (7 cm at level of left hilum) with collapse of left lung structures.

Some mediastinal divergence from midline - possible tension pneumothorax.

Right lung clear.


Chest drain insertion (24h follow up film)

Chest drain in situ - left mid-zone.

Left lung re-expanded.

Atelectasis in left lower zone.

Background changes in both lungs consistent with COPD.

Case Discussion

This patient attended with a spontaneous secondary pneumothorax.

Due to the size of the pneumothorax, and signs of respiratory distress, an intercostal chest drain was inserted (using Seldinger technique) to good effect.

The patient was discharged home within three days.

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Case information

rID: 37132
Case created: 27th May 2015
Last edited: 24th Jan 2018
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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