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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between Pneumothorax And Hemothorax

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Dr. Victor Morell
152 Doctors shared insights

Hemothorax (Definition)

The lungs are surrounded by a thin tissue or membrane called pleura. When fluid enters the "pleural space" it's called a pleural effusion or hydrothorax. If blood is the fluid it is called a hemothorax. Usually this is due to an injury If there is respiratory distress the fluid needs ...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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What is the difference between pneumothorax and emphysema on x-ray?

What is the difference between pneumothorax and emphysema on x-ray?

CXR: A pneumothorax will appear as a black space. Its a dropped decompressed lung. Emphysema will appear as hyperinflated lung. Rib counting will help you determine this. ...Read more

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What is the difference between pneumothorax and pulmonary edema?

What is the difference between pneumothorax and pulmonary edema?

Different: When lungs get filled with fluid is called pulmonary edema as seen in heart failure, when air enters in the pleural cavity ; displaces lung (pneumothorax) as seen in reputes of lung bleb, both conditions will interfere lung function, can be lethal if untreated ...Read more

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Doc, what is the difference between pneumothorax and emphysema? Thank you. I am a med student

Doc, what is the difference between pneumothorax and emphysema? Thank you. I am a med student

Big difference: Pneumothorax when the integrity of negative pressure around the lung were violated, so air escape from outside in and push against the lung to the point of collapse, tension pneumothorax when the lung completely collapsed.
emphysema is a chronic disease, where the alveoli get so stretched it loose the alasticity and air get trapped inside, and that will cause problem with exchange of the O2 and CO2 ...Read more

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

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

Colapsed Lung: A pneumothorax occurs when air gets in the 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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Can traveling (driving) to places of higher elevation cause a recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax? Somewhere around 6000 to 8000 foot difference?

Can traveling (driving) to places of higher elevation cause a recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax? Somewhere around 6000 to 8000 foot difference?

Pneumothorax: Can traveling (driving) to places of higher elevation cause a recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax? Somewhere around 6000 to 8000 foot difference? ANS: if you are predisposed to them yes. So if you have a lung bleb it responds to physics like a ballon. The higher u go the bigger it gets. If it gets big enough it ruptures & walla! Pneumothorax. The diff btw 6000 and 8000 is 2000. So may matter in u. ...Read more

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Really nervous about pneumothorax, what can I do?

Pneumothorax?: Is there any reason why you would be at risk for pneumothorax? If not, I think it's okay for you to find something else a little less unlikely to worry about. ...Read more

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Higher risk of a pneumothorax if you already had one?

Higher risk of a pneumothorax if you already had one?

Yes: After first time spontaneous pneumothorax in young person 25% chance of a second one. Should receive a ct scan to look for lung abnormalities. ...Read more

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What can I do if I'm suffering from small pneumothorax?

What can I do if I'm suffering from small pneumothorax?

Consult lung doc: A lung doctor should be able to figure out why you are having this pneumothorax, and why it is persisting. Depending on how significant it is and on whether it causes symptoms, surgery may be an option for you. ...Read more

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Are you at a higher risk of a pneumothorax if you have already had one?

Depends...: Recurrent pneumothorax depends on the reason behind the first pneumothorax. If this etiology is treated, your risk of a recurrent problem is much lower. See your doctor to discuss your individual case! ...Read more

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Is there a cure for pneumothorax?

Is there a cure for pneumothorax?

Yes: It may resolve on its own. It may require a catheter or tube to evacuate the air to relieve any shortness of breath. It may need surgery if it recurs to remove blebs (air cysts) at the top of the lung. ...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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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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How does pneumothorax happen for no reason?

How does pneumothorax happen for no reason?

Happens for a reason: Adolescents & young adults have "spontaneous" pneumothorax more frequently than other folks. The lung tissue usually has a minor congenital defect called a "bleb, " that bursts leading to a leak of air outside the lung - pneumothorax ensues. These folks are usually tall & lean. Of course, trauma can lead to pneumothorax, as can certain illnesses, particularly, marfan's syndrome. ...Read more

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How debilitating is a tension pneumothorax?

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 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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Can you tell me about pneumothorax surgery?

Can you tell me about pneumothorax surgery?

Several: The first one is the placement of a tube that will go into a water seal or suction to decrease the pressure in the chest cavity against the lung. You then wait for healing and closure. If unable they can do sealing with a clot, patching or oversewing, but the first one is best if it can do it. ...Read more

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Would a pneumothorax usually be seen on x ray?

Yes: A collapsed lung would be seen on an x-ray of the chest. ...Read more

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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 to do if I have surgery for pneumothorax?

A great treatment: Surgery for pneumothorax can be uncomfortable, but ultimately it is the best remedy for this condition. Ideally, it should never come back again after the surgery is done and you have recovered completely. It is very effective, and I have recommended it multiple times to my patients without hesitation. ...Read more

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What treatment is most used for a hemothorax?

Chest tube vs obs: It depends on the size of the hemothorax. Many will observe small hemothoraces not evident on chest xray. Larger hemothoraces require drainage, usually with a chest tube. ...Read more

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What could a thoracotomy do for a pneumothorax?

Treatment: Agree with dr tsai. It is very uncommon to use thoracotomy approach for a simple pneumothorax. If surgery is indicated, it is most often by minimally invasive technique (vats). ...Read more

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Are pneumothorax and atelectasis the same thing?

No: Pneumothorax causes atelectasis but ther are other causes of lung collapse. ...Read more

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I would like info about spontaneous pneumothorax?

Unexpected: A spontaneous pneumothorax occurs when there is a sudden increase in pressure in the lung, causing a rupture. Most occur in people having a weakness on the surface of the lung, making it more susceptible to rupture. Treatment, if needed, is usually tube insertion for a first episode, and surgery for subsequent events. ...Read more