Tension pneumothorax

Case contributed by Frank Gaillard
Diagnosis certain


Acute shortness of breath.

Patient Data

Age: Adult
Gender: Male

Chest x-ray


Chest x-ray demonstrates a large left sided pneumothorax with incomplete collapse of the lung. The mediastinum and trachea are minimally deviated towards the right, suggesting a component of tension.

Case Discussion

A tension pneumothorax is a true medical emergency, with the difference between life and death sometimes only being a matter of minutes. 

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