Traumatic tension pneumothorax with rib fractures

Case contributed by RMH Core Conditions


Motorbike collision.

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

Moderate sized right sided pneumothorax with mild splaying of the ribs and contralateral mediastinal shift in keeping with tension pneumothorax. Right 7th rib fracture with a small amount of surgical emphysema.

There is a short tubing projected over the right 5th-6th ribs peripherally with its tip outside the thoracic cavity.

The left lung is clear. Heart size is within normal limits.

Case Discussion

Tension pneumothorax is an emergency - the patient if still in the department should be reviewed immediately +/- treatment; if not then the treating doctor should be informed immediately. 

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Case information

rID: 34219
Published: 10th Feb 2015
Last edited: 19th Sep 2020
Tag: trauma
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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