Medical Surgical Hemothorax vs Pneumothorax #4

Question

A preceptor is teaching a nursing student about the risk factors of a hemothorax which include: Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. Open heart surgery
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because clients having major surgeries like open heart surgery or a lung transplant may be more likely to experience a hemothorax. Injury to an intercostal artery during insertion of sternal wires and central line insertion can cause a hemothorax. Surgeons will monitor them during and after the surgery for any signs of blood in the lungs.

  2. Repetitive injury
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because repetitive injury is a cause for a hemothorax. The blunt force experienced when participating in athletics such as football, martial arts, or boxing can happen more than once. They are at higher risks for a hemothorax due to the potential for repetitive blunt impact to the chest, abdomen, or shoulders.

  3. Blood clotting defects
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because blood disorders that cause prolonged clotting can cause a hemothorax. Clients who are on excessive doses of blood thinning medications can cause a hemothorax. Blood can leak into the chest cavity if blood does not clot properly after a surgeon closes incisions or if an organ or vessel is cut.

  4. Chest trauma
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because chest trauma is the main cause of a hemothorax. Motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, gunshot wounds, knife wounds, combat blast injuries, or falling from a great height can cause a hemothorax. Anything that causes blunt force or penetrating trauma to the chest, abdomen, or shoulders are at higher risk for a hemothorax.

  5. COVID-19
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because COVID19 is associated with thromboembolic events. Complications of COVID-19 also include emphysema, lung infections, and pulmonary embolism. These factors contribute to a hemothorax.

Overview

A hemothorax is when blood pools in the space between the lungs and the chest cavity. Risk factors are anything that causes blunt trauma or force to the chest wall and coagulation defects.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

A hemothorax is when blood pools in the space between the lungs and the chest cavity. Risk factors are anything that causes blunt trauma or force to the chest wall and coagulation defects. Injury to an intercostal artery during insertion of sternal wires and central line insertion during surgery can cause a hemothorax. Repetitive injuries during athletics place the athlete at higher risks for a hemothorax due to the potential for repetitive blunt impact to the chest, abdomen, or shoulders. Blood disorders that cause prolonged clotting can cause a hemothorax. Complications of COVID-19 include thromboembolic events, emphysema, lung infections, and pulmonary embolism contribute to a hemothorax.

Test Taking Tip

Remember that a hemothorax is blood filling the space between the lungs and the chest cavity and a pneumothorax is air outside the lung in the space between the lungs and chest cavity. Hemo is blood and pneumo is air.

Video Rationale