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Doctor insights on: Hemothorax

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Dr. Victor Morell
150 doctors shared insights

Hemothorax (Overview)

Hemothorax is the condition where blood accumulates in the chest cavity, around the lungs. It is most often caused by trauma, but can also be caused by infections or cancers within the chest.


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What is hemothorax?

What is hemothorax?

Definition...: Hemothorax is when there is blood in the space between the lining of the lung and the lining of the chest wall cavity. ...Read more

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Dr. Victor Morell
150 doctors shared insights

Hemothorax (Overview)

Hemothorax is the condition where blood accumulates in the chest cavity, around the lungs. It is most often caused by trauma, but can also be caused by infections or cancers within the chest.


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What symptoms does someone with hemothorax have?

What symptoms does someone with hemothorax have?

Short of breath: Hemothorax means 'blood surrounding the lung'. Invariably, hemothroax is caused by a major trauma to the rib cage. Multiple rib fractures can bleed (internally) into the pleural space causing the 'hemothorax' which can produce symptoms of: shortness of breath and pain. Usually the blood is drained through a 'chest tube' placed into to pleural space. The prodecure is done by er doctor or surgeon. ...Read more

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What is the differential diagnosis of hemothorax vs. Tension pneumothorax?

What is the differential diagnosis of hemothorax vs. Tension pneumothorax?

What is in the chest: Tension pneumothorax occurs when air under pressure fills the space around the lung. This can compress the heart and impede blood from entering the heart. Hemothorax occurs when blood is filling the space around the lungs. You can have both air and blood in your chest. Both conditions can be dangerous and require management by a physician. ...Read more

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How is hemothorax diagnosed?

How is hemothorax diagnosed?

Listen and tap: Fluid in pleural space established clinically by decreased breath sounds and dullness to percussion of the affected area. Cxr will demonstrate pleural fluid, but to know what kind of fluid it is important to insert a needle and look at it directly. ...Read more

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What are the tests for hemothorax?

% of red cells in th: You have to aspirated the fluid, if it id bloody or red & do a hematocrit or the percentage of red cells in the fluid, then can make the diagnosis of hemothorax. ...Read more

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Can seizures cause a spontaneous hemothorax?

Can seizures cause a spontaneous hemothorax?

Usually not: If you had a generalized convulsion and experienced trauma, such as a rib fracture, there might be a good explanation. However, if your epilepsy is well controlled, there needs to be a search for another explanation. ...Read more

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Md wants to treat hemothorax. What if I don't?

Md wants to treat hemothorax. What if I don't?

Trapped lung, BAD!: Blood in the thorax will essentially "harden" for lack of a better term, surround and trap the lung (like a thick leathery blanket wrapped around your otherwise healthy lung tissue, rendering it useless). This can lead to chronic infection, loss of lung function, and a significant impact on your quality of life. Hemothorax should be drained as completely and as quickly as possible. ...Read more

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What is treatment for massive hemothorax?

What is treatment for massive hemothorax?

ABC ...: A. Make sure the patient has an open airway (may require breathing tube). B. Make sure the patient can breathe. In case of a massive hemothorax, this involves draining the blood out of the chest with a tube so that the lung can expand and exchange gas. C. Ensure adequate circulation. The patient may require fluid or blood resiscitation, as well as control of the bleeding. That's just abc ... ...Read more

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What treatment is most used for hemothorax?

What treatment is most used for hemothorax?

Chest tube: Most often, placing a tube into the chest can drain the blood from the chest effectively. Most bleeding from chest injuries stops on its own. However, an operation may be required for ongoing bleeding, or when bleeding has stopped, but the blood hasn't been well drained. In the latter situation, many surgeons are able to performs minimally invasive chest surgery, called vats. ...Read more

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