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Acute ventilatory failure from massive subcutaneous emphysema. FREE TO VIEW

R Conetta; A A Barman; C Iakovou; R J Masakayan
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Department of Medicine, Flushing Hospital Medical Center, NY 11355.


Chest. 1993;104(3):978-980. doi:10.1378/chest.104.3.978
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Abstract

A 66-year-old woman developed massive subcutaneous emphysema following intubation. Acute thoracic restriction developed resulting in life-threatening respiratory acidosis. The patient could not be ventilated with conventional means. A tracheostomy was performed to decompress the chest and mediastinum with rapid resolution following. Although ventilatory failure from subcutaneous emphysema is very unusual, decompression with tracheostomy can be life saving.


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