Nwankwo N. C. and Maduforo C. O
Spontaneous pneumo-thorax is collection of air in t he pleural space, between the lungs and chest wall causing lung collapse and occurs in the absence of a traumatic injury to the chest or a known lung disease. The diagnosis can be made on plain erect, decubitus chest radiographs or in high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the chest. This case report is to high light a case of spontaneous pneumo-thorax, incidentally diagnosed on a pre-oper ative radiograph of a patient who complained of chest pain and difficulty in breathing on landing a t the airport ten days before, and emphasize the nee d for a chest radiograph in any patient who complains of chest pain and difficulty in breathing. RA 43- year-old married female, known diabetic and hyperte nsive made a short 1 hour 50minutes flight to Lagos by air in a small eighteen (18) seater propel ler plane. On landing, patient complained of chest pain and difficulty in breathing. She was taken str aight to a private hospital where she was seen, assessed and found to be stable. Electrocardiograph y (ECG) was also done since she gave a history of hypertension. Nothing more than the changes of hype rtension were seen on the ECG. Patient was reassured and asked to go home on pain relievers. N o chest radiograph was done. Ten (10) days later pneumothorax was seen on a pre-operative radiograph of this patient. This case of spontaneous pneumothorax is reported and the importance of simp le plain chest radiograph in any patient complaining of chest pain and difficulty in breathi ng highlighted. The need for pre-operative chest radiograph is also emphasized.
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