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Doctor insights on: Pneumothorax Hemothorax

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Dr. Victor Morell
151 doctors shared insights

Hemothorax (Definition)

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 ...Read more


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What is the difference between a hemothorax and a pneumothorax?

What is the difference between a hemothorax and a pneumothorax?

Air or blood: Pneumothorax is an accumulation of air outside your lung but inside your chest/ribcage. Hemothorax is an accumulation of blood outside your lung but inside your chest/ribcage. Both may be commonly described as "collapsed lung" because the air and/or blood in this space displaces your lung and prevents complete expansion of your lung. ...Read more

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What are symptoms of hemothorax vs. Tension pneumothorax?

What are symptoms of hemothorax vs. Tension pneumothorax?

Chest pain: Hemothorax and tension pneumothorax will both present with chest pain and shortness of breath. Both can also present with severely low blood pressure. However, this can depend on the amount of blood lost in a hemothorax. Both are considered surgical emergencies and need to be treated. ...Read more

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So why is hemothorax more associated with a higher mortality rate than pneumothorax?

So why is hemothorax more associated with a higher mortality rate than pneumothorax?

Major organ damage: A hemothorax is when bleeding occurs in the chest cavity collapsing the lung. This suggests significant injury to lung, heart, or major vessels in chest cavity. A pneumothorax can be severe and life threatening as well but can occur with very little trauma to the lung. It is easily managed with a chest tube. ...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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Recovery for a massive hemothorax?

Inadequate info: Depends on underlying cause, patient's age & associated medical conditions, response to ongoing treatments etc. Please discuss it with your treating physician. ...Read more