Pneumothorax (spontaneous)

Pneumothorax (Spontaneous)


Guidelines reproduced with permission from Thorax 2003;58(Suppl ii):ii39-ii52

Emergency Med standards  - Mx of pneumothorax

Primary pneumothorax occurs in patients who have no clinically apparent lung disorder.

Secondary pneumothorax occurs in patients with an underlying pulmonary disease, most commonly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Small Pneumothorax: presence of a visible rim of <2 cm between the lung margin and the chest wall.

Large Pneumothorax presence of a visible rim of >2 cm between the lung margin and the chest wall.

General Audit Standards:

Primary Spontaneous pneumothorax - minimal symptoms:

Primary Spontaneous pneumothorax - symptomatic:

Secondary pneumothorax - minimal symptoms

Secondary pneumothorax - symptomatic

Primary pneumothorax
(no underlying lung disease)

Flow diagram Management Primary Pneumothorax

Secondary pneumothorax

(with underlying lung disease)

Management algorithm secondary pneumothorax

Strong emphasis should be placed on the relationship between the recurrence of pneumothorax and smoking in an effort to encourage patients to stop smoking.

Seldinger technique chest drain insertion

Intercostal tube drainage - (blunt ATLS technique)

Please see Chest Drain section under trauma section. Monitor for REPO


M Henry1 BTS guidelines for the management of spontaneous pneumothorax . Thorax 2003;58(Suppl ii):ii39-ii52. © 2003 BMJ Publishing Group & British Thoracic Society

BTS 2003 Guidelines management spontaneous pneumothorax Local copy

Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan 23/06/2000. Reviewed by Dr ÍOS 03/11/2003, 17/05/2005, 26/09/2005, 02/02/2007.. Last review Dr ÍOS 12/03/13