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J Accid Emerg Med. 1996 May;13(3):173-4.

Traumatic pneumothorax: is a chest drain always necessary?

Author information

1
Accident and Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the management of traumatic pneumothorax in a department where some of these injuries do not receive chest drains.

METHODS:

A retrospective study of the management of traumatic pneumothorax was performed on a unit where historically many of these injuries have been treated conservatively.

RESULTS:

54 pneumothoraces in a three year period were identified. Of these, 29 injuries (54.7%) were initially managed without drainage. Two patients subsequently had chest drains inserted as a result of asymptomatic radiological enlargement of the pneumothorax while inpatients. No patients deteriorated clinically during conservative treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Chest drain insertion for small or moderate sized traumatic pneumothoraces, in the absence of other significant injuries or the need for intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV), may be unnecessary.

PMID:
8733651
PMCID:
PMC1342681
DOI:
10.1136/emj.13.3.173
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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