<< Emergency Department Evaluation And Management Of Blunt Chest And Lung Trauma (Trauma CME)

Case Presentations And Conclusions

Case Presentations

You are about to start a busy Monday afternoon shift when you hear a radio call from EMS for a high-speed motor vehicle crash. The dispatcher tells you that the patients are 5 minutes away. The first patient that arrives is an unrestrained 23-year-old male driver. The patient has severe right-sided chest pain with moderate respiratory distress. His blood pressure is 102/54 mm Hg, his heart rate is 112 beats/min, and the pulse oximeter reads 92% on room air. You are concerned for a pneumothorax but wonder what else could explain his abnormal vital signs...

The second patient is the unrestrained 27-year-old female passenger from the same accident, with a chief complaint of chest pain, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath. Her blood pressure is 120/70 mm Hg, her heart rate is 85 beats/min, and the pulse oximeter reads 97% on room air. On exam, the patient has decreased breath sounds on the right side. Again, pneumothorax sounds likely as you wait for the portable x-ray; you wonder if a bedside ultrasound could facilitate making the diagnosis...

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