Cause: Usually results from blunt or penetrating chest trauma. Hemothorax may result from thoracic surgery, pulmonary infarction, neoplasm, disecting thoracic aneurysm, or anticoagulant therapy.
Percussion reveals dullness, and auscultation reveals decreased to absent breath sounds over the affected side.
Mild to severe dyspnea (difficulty breathing) may be present
If respiratory failure results, the patient may appear anxious, restless, possibly stuporous, and cyanotic.
Marked blood loss produces hypotension and shock.
The affected side of the chest expands and stiffens, while the unaffected side rises and falls with the patient's gasping respirations
Goal: to stabilize the patient's condition, stop the bleeding, evacuate blood from the pleural space, and reexpand the underlying lung.
Mild hemothorax usually clears in 10 to 14 days, requiring only observation for further bleeding.
In severe hemothorax, thoracentesis may be performed, (not only use as a diagnostic tool, but also as a method of removing fluid from the pleural cavity.)
Suction may be used to prevent clot blockage
Thoracotomy may be done to evacuate blood and clots and to control bleeding.
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