Background: A ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm is a life-threatening condition and can lead to a tension hemothorax. Objectives: To describe the presentation and management of a case of a tension hemothorax. Case Report: An 84-year-old woman presented in respiratory distress and was found to have a tension hemothorax. The cause was the rupture of an ascending and descending thoracic aortic aneurysm. She was managed with intubation, mechanical ventilation, and chest tube placement with stabilization. Definitive operative repair was deferred due to the patient's comorbidities and wishes of the family. Conclusions/Summary: A tension hemothorax can result from an ascending and descending thoracic aneurysm, as this case describes. Emergent therapy is necessary as this is a life-threatening condition.
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Published online: June 01, 2010
Accepted: April 4, 2010
Received in revised form: December 24, 2009
Received: October 11, 2009
© 2012 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.