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Drew Clare

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date: 24 September 2021

The case illustrates the approach to an intubated patient on mechanical ventilation with desaturation and clinical deterioration. Included is a list of potential etiologies, including airway obstruction, pneumothorax, mucus plug/atelectasis, aspiration or infection, and pulmonary embolus as well as a description of how to systematically evaluate these patients. Various imaging modalities are reviewed, including the findings of a chest X-ray and results of a limited bedside ultrasound. The case highlights the potential development of a delayed pneumothorax or hemothorax, despite an initially normal chest radiograph, particularly with the addition of positive pressure ventilation. The case highlights the importance of the focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) exam.

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