What are general physical findings characteristic of 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

The presentation of a patient with pneumothorax may range from completely asymptomatic to life-threatening respiratory distress. Symptoms may include diaphoresis, splinting chest wall to relieve pleuritic pain, and cyanosis (in the case of tension pneumothorax). Findings on lung auscultation also vary depending on the extent of the pneumothorax. Affected patients may also reveal altered mental status changes, including decreased alertness and/or consciousness (a rare finding).


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