Longest delayed hemothorax reported after blunt chest injury
Blunt chest injury is a common presentation to the emergency department. However, a delayed hemothorax after blunt trauma is rare; current literature reports a delay of up to 30 days. Published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the authors present a case of 44-day delay in hemothorax which has not been previously reported in current literature.

A 52-year-old male first presented to the emergency department complaining of persistent right sided chest pain 2 weeks after having slipped on a wet surface at home. His initial chest X-ray showed fractures of the right 7th and 8th ribs without a hemothorax or pneumothorax.

He returned 30 days after the initial consultation (44 days post-trauma) having increasing shortness of breath. A chest X-ray this time revealed a large right hemothorax and 1850 ml of blood drained from his chest.

There was a complete resolution of the hemothorax within 48 h and the patient was discharged after a 6-week follow-up with the chest physicians.

Why should an emergency physician be aware of this?
- Emergency physicians should be vigilant and weary that hemothorax could be a possibility after a chest injury despite a delay in presentation.

- A knowledge of delayed hemothorax will prompt physicians in providing important advice, warning signs and information to patients after a chest injury to avoid a delay in seeking medical attention.

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