Tension pneumothorax

Case contributed by Frank Gaillard
Diagnosis certain


ICU patient with pneumonia and ARDS.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Female

Mobile chest x-ray of an intubated patient with a large right-sided pneumothorax. The right lung is collapsed and there is leftward shift of the mediastinum consistent with a tension pneumothorax. 

Case Discussion

This intubated patient developed a spontaneous tension pneumothorax, presumably related to high-pressure ventilation.

The right central venous catheter had been in situ for a number of days without incident.

A chest tube was inserted and the patient stabilized.

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