Pneumothorax Emerging As A New Complication Of COVID-19, Fin
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As many as 1 in 100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients may experience a pneumothorax, or punctured lung, according to a multicenter observational case series published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum have both been noted to complicate cases of COVID-19 requiring hospital admission. Authors report the largest case series yet described of patients with both these pathologies that includes non-ventilated patients.

Cases were collected retrospectively from UK hospitals with inclusion criteria limited to a diagnosis of COVID-19 and the presence of either pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum. Details obtained from the medical record included demographics, radiology, laboratory investigations, clinical management and survival.

-- Seventy-one patients from 16 centres were included in the study, of whom 60 patients had pneumothoraces (six also with pneumomediastinum), whilst 11 patients had pneumomediastinum alone.
-- Two of these patients had two distinct episodes of pneumothorax, occurring bilaterally in sequential fashion, bringing the total number of pneumothoraces included to 62.
-- Clinical scenarios included patients who had presented to hospital with pneumothorax, patients who had developed pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum during their inpatient admission with COVID-19 and patients who developed their complication whilst intubated and ventilated, either with or without concurrent extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
-- Survival at 28 days was not significantly different following pneumothorax or isolated pneumomediastinum.
-- The incidence of pneumothorax was higher in males. The 28-day survival was not different between the sexes.
-- Patients above the age of 70 had a significantly lower 28-day survival than younger individuals.

Conclusively, These cases suggest that pneumothorax is a complication of COVID-19. Pneumothorax does not seem to be an independent marker of poor prognosis and we encourage active treatment to be continued where clinically possible.

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