Treatment of occult pneumothoraces from blunt trauma

Karen Brasel, Renae E. Stafford, John A. Weigelt, Jane E. Tenquist, David C. Borgstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Occult pneumothoraces (OPTXs) are seen on abdominal computed tomographic (CT) scans but not on routine chest x-ray films. Optimal treatment for blunt trauma OPTXs has not been defined. We hypothesized that OPTXs could be safely observed without need for a chest tube (CT). Methods: A prospective trial randomized blunt trauma patients with OPTXs to CT scan or observation. Patients were not excluded for positive pressure ventilation. Primary outcome measures were respiratory distress and pneumothoraces progression. Results: Thirty-nine patients with 44 pneumothoraces were enrolled. Eighteen patients received a CT scan, and 21 patients were observed. Nine patients in each group received positive pressure ventilation. There was no difference in overall complication rate. No patient had respiratory distress related to the OPTX or required emergent CT scan. Conclusions: Observation of OPTX is not associated with an increased incidence of pneumothorax progression or respiratory distress. These pneumothoraces can be safely observed in patients with blunt trauma injury regardless of the need for positive pressure ventilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-991
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Pneumothorax
Wounds and Injuries
Positive-Pressure Respiration
Therapeutics
Observation
Chest Tubes
Nonpenetrating Wounds
Motion Pictures
Thorax
X-Rays
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Incidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Treatment of occult pneumothoraces from blunt trauma. / Brasel, Karen; Stafford, Renae E.; Weigelt, John A.; Tenquist, Jane E.; Borgstrom, David C.

In: Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care, Vol. 46, No. 6, 06.1999, p. 987-991.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brasel, Karen ; Stafford, Renae E. ; Weigelt, John A. ; Tenquist, Jane E. ; Borgstrom, David C. / Treatment of occult pneumothoraces from blunt trauma. In: Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care. 1999 ; Vol. 46, No. 6. pp. 987-991.
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