Pulmonology Book


Tension Pneumothorax

Aka: Tension Pneumothorax
  1. See Also
    1. Simple Pneumothorax
    2. Open Pneumothorax
  2. Pathophysiology
    1. Air continues to accumulate in pleural space, but cannot escape
  3. Symptoms
    1. Sudden sharp Chest Pain
    2. Air Hunger
  4. Signs
    1. Unilateral absent breath sounds
    2. Hyperresonant chest to percussion
    3. Cyanosis
    4. Respiratory distress
    5. Tachycardia
    6. Hypotension
    7. Tracheal deviation to contralateral side
    8. Neck vein distention
  5. Imaging
    1. Bedside Ultrasound
      1. See Lung Ultrasound for Pneumothorax
    2. Chest XRay
      1. Do not use XRay to diagnose a Tension Pneumothorax
      2. Confirm diagnosis by Chest XRay after decompression
  6. Differential Diagnosis
    1. Cardiac Tamponade
  7. Precautions
    1. Tension Pneumothorax is a clinical diagnosis (not an imaging diagnosis)
    2. Do not obtain a Chest XRay prior to needle decompression (delays are lethal)
    3. Needle decompression buys a small amount of time in which to place a Chest Tube for definitive management
  8. Management
    1. Emergent Needle Thoracentesis
      1. Do not wait for Chest XRay
      2. Use 14 gauge (5 cm long) angiocatheter in children and 10 gauge (7.5 cm long) angiocatheter in adults
      3. Insert angiocatheter over the top of the third rib in the mid-clavicular line
    2. Chest Tube
      1. Perform immediately after needle decompression
      2. Insert over the top of the 5th rib in the mid-axillary line
  9. References
    1. (2012) ATLS 9th ed, American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma, p. 96-9

Tension Pneumothorax (C0264558)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D011030
SnomedCT 155611004, 233645004, 76537003
Dutch spanningspneumothorax
French Pneumothorax sous tension
German Spannungspneumothorax
Italian Pneumotorace a valvola
Portuguese Pneumotórax de tensão
Spanish Neumotórax a tensión, neumotórax a tensión (trastorno), neumotórax a tensión
Japanese 緊張性気胸, キンチョウセイキキョウ
English tension pneumothorax (diagnosis), tension pneumothorax, pneumothorax tension, Pneumothoraxs, Tension, Pressure Pneumothoraxs, Pressure Pneumothorax, Pneumothorax, Tension, Pneumothoraxs, Pressure, Tension Pneumothorax, Tension Pneumothoraxs, Pneumothorax, Pressure, Tension pneumothorax, Tension pneumothorax (disorder)
Czech Tenzní pneumotorax
Hungarian Tensiós pneumothorax
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

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