Thorac cardiovasc Surg 2012; 60(S 02): e6-e8
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1295577
Cardiac Surgery
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Bilateral Tension Pneumothoraces Leading to Cardiac Arrest after Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Anthony Alozie
1  Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Rostock Medical Faculty, University Heart Center Rostock, Rostock, Germany
,
Bernd Westphal
1  Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Rostock Medical Faculty, University Heart Center Rostock, Rostock, Germany
,
Can Yerebakan
1  Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Rostock Medical Faculty, University Heart Center Rostock, Rostock, Germany
,
Gustav Steinhoff
1  Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Rostock Medical Faculty, University Heart Center Rostock, Rostock, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

30 May 2011

04 August 2011

Publication Date:
03 January 2012 (eFirst)

  

Abstract

Bilateral pneumothoraces are a very rare event. In clinical settings, inadvertent incursion into the pleural space resulting from diagnostic or therapeutic medical interventions such as bilateral venipunctures or damage to the lung parenchyma due to high pressure ventilation may be causative. Bilateral pneumothoraces postcardiac surgery are rarely reported. We present the case of bilateral tension pneumothoraces leading up to cardiorespiratory arrest in a 57-year-old male, weighing 130 kg, who underwent without any complications a coronary artery bypass surgery. Thoracic chest tubes (retrosternal and intrapericardial) and a left pleural tube were removed 24 hours prior to the incident. Diffuse sternal pain sensation accompanied by slow progressive respiratory distress and confusion shortly before the incident were all developed over a period of 12 hours. A prompt cardiopulmonary resuscitation and bilateral chest tube insertion had prevented a fatality in the patient.