CHART SMART: Documenting pneumothorax

September 2008 
Volume 38  Number 9
Pages 19 - 19
  PDF Version Available!


PNEUMOTHORAX, WHICH IS the presence of air or gas in the pleural space, can lead to partial or complete lung collapse. A tension pneumothorax occurs from a progressive buildup of air within the pleural space, which causes the lung to collapse and the mediastinum to shift toward the side opposite the pneumothorax. These anatomic changes decrease venous return to the heart, reducing cardiac output and creating an emergency.

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