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Doctor insights on: Tension Pneumothorax

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Dr. Cynthia Archer
74 doctors shared insights

Tension Pneumothorax (Overview)

This is a life threatening condition which occurs when increasing amount of air gets trapped in the pleural space. It results in lung collapse, shifting of trachea, heart and large blood vessels within chest, to the opposite side. This also prevents the blood from returning to the heart. This leads to low blood pressure and death if not treated emergently.


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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

Dr. Cynthia Archer
74 doctors shared insights

Tension Pneumothorax (Overview)

This is a life threatening condition which occurs when increasing amount of air gets trapped in the pleural space. It results in lung collapse, shifting of trachea, heart and large blood vessels within chest, to the opposite side. This also prevents the blood from returning to the heart. This leads to low blood pressure and death if not treated emergently.


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My doc says that respiraory alkalosis is a sign of a tension pneumothorax but why?

My doc says that respiraory alkalosis is a sign of a tension pneumothorax but why?

Can be: Hyperventilation can lead to a respiratory alkalosis by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide that you exhale. When this happens the overall ph of your increases because co2 elimination is linked to the activity of enzymes in your blood that convert hydrogen ions to co2. Even a small pneumothorax may result in a degree of respiratory distress, leading to high breathing rate. ...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 do you know who is most likely to get tension pneumothorax?

How do you know who is most likely to get tension pneumothorax?

Trauma, other: Prior to a tension pneumothorax there is a usually a traumatic event that leaves a hole in the lung and no mechanism for that air to leave. Other causes of tension pneumothorax (spontaneous, emphysema, endometriosis(in the chest), rare genetic causes) are not so predictable... And even most folks with chest trauma don't get one (stab wounds and bullets tend to leave a hole for the air to leave). ...Read more

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Can you tell me for what cause of tension pneumothorax should a nurse check?

Can you tell me for what cause of tension pneumothorax should a nurse check?

Many causes: If the pneumothorax creates a lot of pressure/air buildup in the chest, it can compress the veins draining into the heart and cause the heart to stop beating. This is called Tension Pneumothorax, and it is a medical emergency. If not promptly treated, it can cause death.

As far as causes, it can be out of nowhere (called spontaneous), or as a complication of a procedure like a central line. ...Read more

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How can I treat tension pneumothorax?

How can I treat tension pneumothorax?

Needle Decompression: Tension pneumothorax is one of the few medical emergencies where a life can be saved or lost in a matter of minutes if not recognized early. While diagnosis can be difficult, treatment is a simple, rapid needle decompression of the pleural space by inserting a large bore angiocatheter just above the 3rd rib. With the patient stabilized a larger chest tube is placed until the pneumothorax resolves. ...Read more

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What does "icc" stand for in regard to a tension pneumothorax treatment?

What does "icc" stand for in regard to a tension pneumothorax treatment?

Intercostal catheter: Icc stands for intercostal catheter that is used to drain the air out of the chest in case of a tension pneumothorax. This tube is inserted in the space between ribs to reach the inside of chest cavity on the involved side & the other end of this tube is kept under water seal with/without suctioning to completely drain the air out of chest cavity. It is left in place until pneumothorax resolves. ...Read more

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How can I treat tension pneumothorax?

Needle Decompression: Tension pneumothorax is one of the few medical emergencies where a life can be saved or lost in a matter of minutes if not recognized early. While diagnosis can be difficult, treatment is a simple, rapid needle decompression of the pleural space by inserting a large bore angiocatheter just above the 3rd rib. With the patient stabilized a larger chest tube is placed until the pneumothorax resolves. ...Read more

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How debilitating is a tension pneumothorax?

Can be deadly: Tension pneumothorax occurs when pressure builds up in one side of the chest and collapses the lung. This is rapidly fatal and is treated as an emergency. Once it is released, a tube is left in the chest for a few days. After it is removed, people usually recover completely. ...Read more

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What is something is similar to a tension pneumothorax?

MI: The symptoms associated with a tension pneumothorax consist of chest pain, shortness of breath, and hypotension if it continues to progress. The problem which mimics this is an acute myocardial infarction, or hesrt attack. A chest xray will be able to tellthe ddifference. ...Read more

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In regard to a tension pneumothorax, what does it stand for?

Dangerous condition: A tension pneumothorax occurs when there is a hole and air escapes from the lung into the space between the lung and chest wall and does not go back into the lung. As the air escapes from the lung, the pressure builds up in the space between the lung and chest wall (the pleural space). As the pressure builds "tension"-the high pressure buildup) and it can put pressure on the heart. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: tension pneumothorax?

What is the definition or description of: tension pneumothorax?

Tension Pneumothorax: This is a life threatening condition which occurs when increasing amount of air gets trapped in the pleural space. It results in lung collapse, shifting of trachea, heart and large blood vessels within chest, to the opposite side. This also prevents the blood from returning to the heart. This leads to low blood pressure and death if not treated emergently. ...Read more

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How do you know who is most likely to get tension pneumothorax?

Trauma, other: Prior to a tension pneumothorax there is a usually a traumatic event that leaves a hole in the lung and no mechanism for that air to leave. Other causes of tension pneumothorax (spontaneous, emphysema, endometriosis(in the chest), rare genetic causes) are not so predictable... And even most folks with chest trauma don't get one (stab wounds and bullets tend to leave a hole for the air to leave). ...Read more

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Can you tell me for what cause of tension pneumothorax should a nurse check?

Many causes: If the pneumothorax creates a lot of pressure/air buildup in the chest, it can compress the veins draining into the heart and cause the heart to stop beating. This is called Tension Pneumothorax, and it is a medical emergency. If not promptly treated, it can cause death.

As far as causes, it can be out of nowhere (called spontaneous), or as a complication of a procedure like a central line. ...Read more

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What is the cause of death in a tension pneumothorax?

What is the cause of death in a tension pneumothorax?

Cardiac arrest: Usually, the buildup of pressure from the pneumothorax causes the heart to stop. ...Read more

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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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What is the main cause of death with a tension pneumothorax?

What is the main cause of death with a tension pneumothorax?

Bloodflow: A tension pneumothorax causes death by pushing against the heart and moving it over until it cuts off the blood return to the heart. ...Read more

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What should you do if someone experiences tension pneumothorax while on a ventilator?

What should you do if someone experiences tension pneumothorax while on a ventilator?

Immediate chest tube: A tension pneumothorax is bad and will cause respiratory failure if not corrected in a short time. The best method is to put a tube in the side of the chest with the pneumothorax and suck out the air around the lung. Being on a ventilator makes the condition more dangerous. ...Read more

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Is a traumatic pneumothorax the same as a tension pneumothorax?

Is a traumatic pneumothorax the same as a tension pneumothorax?

No.: One can lead to the other, but they are not the same thing. A traumatic pneumothorax is one that occurs from any traumatic injury, as opposed to a spontaneous pneumothrorax. A tension pneumo is a type of pneumothorax that happens with leaking air gets trapped in the chest and pushes on the heart and opposite lung. It is a very serious condition that can cause death. It is luckily fairly rare. ...Read more

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I have tension pneumothorax. Why do the doctors need to use a needle?

I have tension pneumothorax. Why do the doctors need to use a needle?

Dangerous: A tension pneumothorax can kill and kill very quickly. That's why the doctors used a needle to get rid of the air in the chest that was causing the tension.

Hope you feel better. ...Read more

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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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What does "icc" stand for in regard to a tension pneumothorax treatment?

Intercostal catheter: Icc stands for intercostal catheter that is used to drain the air out of the chest in case of a tension pneumothorax. This tube is inserted in the space between ribs to reach the inside of chest cavity on the involved side & the other end of this tube is kept under water seal with/without suctioning to completely drain the air out of chest cavity. It is left in place until pneumothorax resolves. ...Read more

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I have chet, is a traumatic pneumothorax the same as a tension pneumothorax, any suggestions?

I have chet, is a traumatic pneumothorax the same as a tension pneumothorax, any suggestions?

Not exactly: If the collapsed lung (pneumothorax) creates enough pressure, it can compress the right side of the heart. This decreases the blood return to the heart. Without adequate blood return, your heart does not have enough blood to pump out to your body. This is called tension pneumothorax. Not all traumatic pneumothoracis cause tension. ...Read more

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My doc says that respiraory alkalosis is a sign of a tension pneumothorax but why?

Can be: Hyperventilation can lead to a respiratory alkalosis by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide that you exhale. When this happens the overall ph of your increases because co2 elimination is linked to the activity of enzymes in your blood that convert hydrogen ions to co2. Even a small pneumothorax may result in a degree of respiratory distress, leading to high breathing rate. ...Read more

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Could laughing to the point of hold ur breath cause a tension pneumothorax? I laughed so hard now my chest hurts hist: htn&pcos mild l/s atelectasis

Could laughing to the point of hold ur breath cause a tension pneumothorax? I laughed so hard now my chest hurts hist: htn&pcos mild l/s atelectasis

If you: Had a bleb on the lungs theoretically it could burst. Tension pneumothorax is a severe condition the person usually can't carry on with the daily activities and would seek medical attention. For being sure consult your primary care physician. ...Read more

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How does a newborn infant get a pneumothorax and what's the difference between that an tension pneumo?

How does a newborn infant get a pneumothorax and what's the difference between that an tension pneumo?

Colapsed Lung: A pneumothorax occurs when air gets in the space between the chest wall and the lung. This space should not contain anything. So when air gets in, the lungs have to become smaller. A tension-pneumothorax is when the contents of the chest (heart, lung, collapsed lung) all shift to one side. Typically, this is life threatening because blood cannot flow well. We don't always know why this is. ...Read more

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How can I treat pneumothorax?

Depends on the size: Some pneumothoraces will resolve on their own. Larger pneumothoraces require a tube to be placed in the chest to pre-expand the lung. If someone has multiple pneumothoraces they may need a surgical procedure called a pleurodesis to prevent it from happening again. ...Read more

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How is a pneumothorax diagnosed?

How is a pneumothorax diagnosed?

Exam and X-ray. : Pneumothorax is first and foremost diagnosed clinically based on symptoms (shortness of breath, increased breathing, oxygen requirement) and by listening to the chest (decreased breath sounds). It should be confirmed by chest x-ray. If a small pneumothorax is present, physical exam is less reliable and a chest x-ray should be done. ...Read more

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How does pneumothorax come about?

Air: Pneumothorax occurs when air enters the space between the lung and the chest wall. The air pushes/collapses the lung. It has to be removed with a drainage procedure but small pneumothoraces can resolve on their own with time. ...Read more

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What do you recommend for pneumothorax?

Depends: If small, just observation . If large and symptoms (shortness of breath or pain), may need catheter or tube to evacuate pneumothorax and reinflate the lung ... ...Read more