Tension Pneumothorax

Here’s an example of a large, right-sided tension pneumothorax (PTX). Disruption in the lung leads to a one-way valve where air fills the pleural space and expands the PTX during inspiration but cannot escape during expiration.

The resulting accumulation of air precipitates hemodynamic collapse (mediastinal shift, venous compression, etc.) and requires decompression with a needle thoracostomy and/or chest tube placement to restore cardiac output. Notice how the right internal jugular central line (unrelated to the PTX) terminates near the cavoatrial junction which has been shifted leftward.

Drop me a comment below with questions!

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  1. Hi Rishi, how are you? What’s your favourite dinosaur?

    Just some questions I have regarding the topic. Asking for a friend 🙂

    Can you get this from birth?
    Does trauma affect pneumothorax on any level?
    Can pneumothorax cause idiopathic asymptomatic hypersomnia or Narcolepsy or insomnia?
    If I had tension or regular pneumothorax and I was floating in a pool, would only one side of my chest rise and fall above the water when I inhaled and exhaled?
    Is there a correlation between C sections and pneumothorax?
    What would life be like if you had tension pneumothorax and your brain was permanently hungry for more oxygen but you weren’t necessarily aware of it?


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