Case presentations of the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residencies| Volume 35, ISSUE 2, P199-203, August 2008

Pneumothorax in a Blunt Trauma Patient

      Dr. Maame Yaa Yiadom: Today's case is that of a 53-year-old man brought in by Emergency Medical Services after being thrown off his horse while riding at low speed. He was thrown backwards and to the left, landing initially on the left side of his upper back and then on his lower back and buttocks. He was wearing a helmet, denied head trauma or loss of consciousness, and did not stand or sit up after landing on the ground. Paramedics were on scene within 15 min. At that time he complained of left-sided flank and chest pain that was worse with moving, and feeling “as if someone was holding his breath.” Paramedics reported that his oxygen saturation decreased from 99% to 96% on room air en route, but increased to 100% with application of 2 L oxygen delivered via nasal cannula.
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