Tension pneumothorax

Case contributed by Frank Gaillard
Diagnosis certain


Acute shortness of breath.

Patient Data

Age: Adult
Gender: Female

Chest x-ray


Chest x-ray demonstrates a large left sided pneumothorax. The lung is almost completely collapsed, and there is shift of the mediastinum towards the right. 

Case Discussion

A tension pneumothorax is one of the classic life and death medical emergencies. Prompt recognition and treatment of the condition can avoid an often rapid death.  

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