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Traumatic pneumothorax

  • Definition

    A traumatic pneumothorax is a collection of air inside the chest, between the lung and inner chest wall, which causes the lung to collapse. It results from an injury to the chest.

    See also pneumothorax.


    Alternative Names

    Collapsed lung


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Traumatic pneumothorax occurs when a physical injury causes the lung to collapse. It can be caused by chest injury from a gunshot or knife wounds. It may also be caused by automobile accidents, or can happen after certain medical procedures.

    High-risk medical procedures include transbronchial biopsy, pleural biopsy, thoracentesis, central venous catheter placement, intercostal needle anesthesia, and esophagoscopy.

    Hemothorax, a collection of blood between the lung and chest wall, often happens with traumatic pneumothorax.