Twenty-five percent of all traumatic deaths occur secondary to thoracic injuries, many of which involve injury of the lung. Blunt and penetrating trauma to the lung can cause a variety of medical problems, notably pneumothorax and hemothorax, which are (respectively) the escape of air and blood into the pleural space separating the lungs from the chest wall. Unresolved pneumothorax and hemothorax can cause potentially life-threatening compression of the thoracic contents. They can also lead to a variety of late problems, including fistula formation and infection. All pulmonary emergencies require decisive diagnosis and expedient treatment, including immediate stabilization of the patient. The treating clinician must be prepared to treat any type of pulmonary emergency, and to prevent the development of potentially chronic sequelae.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||17|
|State||Published - Sep 8 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine