A 31-year-old woman sustained multiple injuries, including severe contusion of the right lung with massive subcutaneous emphysema. Four weeks later she was transferred to our institution with post-traumatic adult respiratory distress syndrome and carbon dioxide retention, resulting from a postlaceration stenosis of the left main-stem bronchus. Bronchoplasty was contraindicated because of the serious condition of the patient. Repeated bronchial dilatations produced initial improvement in oxygenation and minute ventilation requirements. However, because of the nature of the stenosis and the lack of recovery of right lung function, the patient's encouraging clinical course reached a plateau and attempts at weaning from the respirator were unsuccessful. Bronchoplasty was performed on postadmission day 50 and resulted in gradual recovery of pulmonary function. Six months following discharge, the patient continues a steady improvement. Management of the patient's injuries represented a unique challenge previously unencountered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine