Hemothorax: Definition, Causes, Symptoms And Treatment.


What is hemothorax?

Hemothorax is when blood collects within your chest wall and your lungs. This area where blood can pool is termed the pleural cavity. The build-up of the amount of blood in the space can ultimately cause your lung to collapse as the blood pushes on the outside of the lungs.

The pooling of blood in your chest can have many causes. It is most obvious after major chest injuries or surgeries that include opening your chest wall, especially heart or lung surgery. Several conditions that cause your blood not to clot properly can also cause hemothorax.

Hemothorax can be produced by many of the same things that cause pneumothorax. Pneumothorax occurs when too much air gets between your chest wall and lungs. This sets too much pressure on your lung and produces the lung or part of the lung to collapse. You may not immediately notice the indications of hemothorax.

Causes of Hemothorax

What causes Hemothorax? In the case of hemothorax, blood accumulates in a space called the pleural cavity, which is among the chest wall and the lung. There are many possible causes including the following:

Traumatic injury

Traumatic hemothorax often makes the pleural membrane lining the chest or lungs rupture. This ruptured layer spills blood into the pleural space, which has no way of occurring drained. Even the most insignificant injuries to the chest wall or lungs can lead to hemothorax. It has grown standard procedure for emergency medical staff to inspect a person’s lung for signs of hemothorax after an event or another result injury, such as a sports injury.

Other Causes

Other issues may produce hemothorax. Certain people may be more at danger for hemothorax depending on underlying diseases. This is called spontaneous hemothorax and it can assume people with:

  • Lung infection, such as tuberculosis
  • Certain cancers, such as lung cancer
  • Pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lungs
  • Defects in blood clotting, due to the effectiveness of anticoagulant drugs.
  • Lung tissue dysfunction, such as pulmonary infection
  • Tears in a blood vessel in the lungs may cause critical high blood pressure

Hemothorax can also be caused by a medical method, such as placing a venous catheter or having heart surgery. In rare cases, hemothorax can also happen spontaneously. Another problem that can occur from a trauma to the chest is pneumothorax. In this case, air accumulates in the chest cavity. If a person has both, this is termed as hemopneumothorax.

Symptoms of Hemothorax

What are the symptoms of Hemothorax? Hemothorax presents some different symptoms, which can benefit both patients and doctors identify it if the signs are not obvious. Symptoms of hemothorax involve:

  • Chest pain, particularly when breathing
  • Cold, pale, or clammy skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Tense, rapid, or shallow breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Anxiety

A massive hemothorax is when the accumulation of blood is large, being at least 1,000 milliliters, or one liter which can lead to shock.

Treatment of Hemothorax

Medical Management

Initial management in most maximum cases is through chest tube drainage where a large tube is enough initial approach unless an aortic dissection or rupture is suspected. After the tube thoracostomy has been done, a chest x-ray should be repeated to identify the position of the chest tube, to reveal other intrathoracic pathology, and to verify whether the collection of blood within the pleural cavity has been fully removed. The pleural effusion and symptoms evaluation research findings reveal an improvement in breathlessness and exercise tolerance in most cases with symptomatic pleural effusion after drainage.

Infrequently a surgical exploration may be used. this may be shown if there is blood loss via the chest drain over 1,500 ml in 24 hr or 200 ml per hour during some successive hours and the need for repeated blood transfusion to manage hemodynamic stability.

Patients who present with active blood decline but stable hemodynamics may be managed with Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery which may be applied to stop bleeding and also in the evacuation of blood clots and breakdown of adhesions. A thoracotomy is a method of choice for surgical exploration of the chest when a huge haemothorax is present.

The most important for a hemothorax is removing the blood outside of your chest cavity. Your doctor will possibly put a tube through the chest muscles and tissues, through your ribs, and into your chest cavity to remove any pooled blood, fluid, or air which is defined as thoracocentesis.

Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by john liam