What causes traumatic pneumothorax?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Answer

Causes of traumatic pneumothorax include the following:

  • Trauma - Penetrating and nonpenetrating injury
  • Rib fracture
  • High-risk occupation (eg, diving, flying)

Traumatic pneumothoraces can result from both penetrating and nonpenetrating lung injuries. Complications include hemopneumothorax and bronchopleural fistula. Traumatic pneumothoraces often can create a one-way valve in the pleural space (only letting in air without escape) and can lead to a tension pneumothorax.


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