Tension Pneumoperitoneum after Blast Injury

The Journal of Trauma Injury Infection and Critical Care 05/1998; 44(5):915-917. DOI: 10.1097/00005373-199805000-00029


Tension pneumoperitoneum is a known although rare complication of barotrauma, which can accompany blast injury.We report two patients who suffered from severe pulmonary blast injury, accompanied by tension pneumoperitoneum, and who were severely hypoxemic, hypercarbic, and in shock. After surgical decompression of their pneumoperitoneum, respiratory and hemodynamic functions improved dramatically. Several mechanisms to explain this improvement are suggested. In such cases the release of the tension pneumoperitoneum is mandatory, and laparotomy with delayed closure can be contemplated.

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