Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Answer this case

Look at the following case. Why is this an emergency? The patient has:

a. A tension pneumothorax.
b. An acute pneumonia of the right lung.
c. Had a pulmonary embolism.
d. A simple pneumothorax.
e. Been shot.


There is a large, right-sided, tension pneumothorax that is displacing the heart and mediastinal structures to the left. Tension pneumothoraces can result from penetrating injuries or can arise spontaneously. They are serious because air exchange is compromised in both the lung with the pneumothorax and the opposite lung which is being compressed. They are treated by decompressing the tension and re-expanding the lung.

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