What is included in inpatient care for pneumomediastinum (PM)?

Updated: Feb 26, 2019
  • Author: Patrick L Carolan, MD; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Patients should be closely monitored (clinically and with pulse oximetry or cardiorespiratory monitors) to anticipate development of more serious complications associated with pneumomediastinum (PM), such as tension pneumomediastinum, pneumothorax, or pneumopericardium. The patient should avoid strenuous physical activity; forced expiratory maneuvers such as spirometry or pulmonary function testing should also be avoided. If esophageal perforation has occurred, the risk of developing mediastinitis is very high. These patients should be observed very closely for evolving fever and signs of worsening respiratory distress or systemic sepsis.


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