Iatrogenic haemothorax is a dramatic event and generally lethal if not treated appropriately and rapidly. Any thoracic co-morbidity increases the risk of death. Spontaneous rupture of the oesophagus is an equally lethal illness if not treated. We report a case of left haemothorax after a thoracic drain for spontaneous pneumothorax with ipsilateral effusion in a 77-year old male. The patient was operated on 6 hours after admission to hospital. We found a laceration of the left common carotid and an unsuspected rupture of the supradiaphragmatic oesophagus. Repair of the lesions in a single session led to no further complications. The patient was discharged in good condition. We know of only one case in the literature with Boerhaave's syndrome not treated surgically, whereas all the other cases had a negative outcome if surgery was not performed promptly. The non-specific symptoms in our case delayed the correct diagnosis of the spontaneous rupture of the oesophagus. The mortality rate is 31% in the literature even when there is an early diagnosis with well performed surgical reapair. A rapid decision as to the best surgical tactics and sending these patients to referral centres specialising in oesophageal disease are the keys to achieving good results.
|Translated title of the contribution||Iatrogenic hemothorax and unknown spontaneous rupture of the oesophagus, double dramatic disease|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - May 2004|
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