Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Warning Signs Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Punctured Lung Treatment

Treatment for a traumatic pneumothorax includes oxygen and a chest tube, which removes air that has collected between the inside of the chest and the outside of the lung. Treatment for a severe traumatic pneumothorax may also include surgery to repair the injured lung.

Specific treatment for a traumatic pneumothorax may include:

  • Oxygen therapy
  • Intravenous fluids
  • Needle thoracostomy:
    • A needle may be placed through the chest wall, with the end residing in the space between the inside of the chest wall and the outside of the lung.
    • This allows air to escape from the space.
    • The needle may be used if there is an emergent need to treat the pneumothorax.
  • Chest tube:
    • A flexible tube is inserted through the chest wall.
    • One end of the tube resides in the space between the inside of the chest wall and the outside of the lung.
    • The other end of the tube is attached to a suction pump.
    • The pump removes the abnormal collection of air.
  • Surgery may be required for traumatic pneumothorax if the lung is severely damaged.
  • Narcotic pain medication:
    • For moderate to severe pain
    • For short term use only

Punctured Lung Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a traumatic pneumothorax:

Continue to Punctured Lung Warning Signs

Last Updated: Jun 9, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Punctured Lung 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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