Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hemothorax Overview

What is a hemothorax?
A person with a hemothorax has a collection of blood in the space between the inside the chest wall, and the outside of the lung. A hemothorax is caused by bleeding from the lung or the inside of the chest wall. An injury to the chest is the most common cause for hemothorax.

What are the symptoms of a hemothorax?
Symptoms of hemothorax include difficulty breathing, chest pain, faintness, fainting, weakness, and fatigue.

How does the doctor treat a hemothorax?
Treatment for hemothorax may include intravenous fluids, cardiac monitoring, and diuretics. Additional treatment for hemothorax may include thoracentesis or chest tube placement, which involves draining blood from the chest with a needle or tube.

Continue to Hemothorax Symptoms

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hemothorax References
  1. Aihara R, Millham FH, Blansfield J, Hirsch EF. Emergency room thoracotomy for penetrating chest injury: effect of an institutional protocol. J Trauma. 2001 Jun;50(6):1027-30. [11426116]
  2. Ferguson M, Luchette FA. Management of blunt chest injury. Respir Care Clin N Am. 1996 Sep;2(3):449-66. [9390891]
  3. Nagy KK, Krosner SM, Roberts RR, Joseph KT, Smith RF, Barrett J. Determining which patients require evaluation for blunt cardiac injury following blunt chest trauma. World J Surg. 2001 Jan;25(1):108-11. [11213149]
  4. Sartorelli KH, Vane DW. The diagnosis and management of children with blunt injury of the chest. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2004 May;13(2):98-105. [15362279]
  5. Wanek S, Mayberry JC. Blunt thoracic trauma: flail chest, pulmonary contusion, and blast injury. Crit Care Clin. 2004 Jan;20(1):71-81. [14979330]
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