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Haemopneumothorax – a rare complication of a common procedure

M. Nadeem Attar, Yahya Al-Najjar, Santwana Tewari, Santwana Tewari, Ferrah Choudhary, Shuja Punekar, Mohammed Munavvar, Sarfraz Khan

CaseRepClinPractRev 2006; 7:111-113

ID: 451683


Background: Nasogastric tube insertion is a routine, simple and seemingly innocuous procedure. It can cause
unexpected and serious complications. We report a rare case of haemopneumothorax following nasogastric tube insertion and discuss strategies to prevent the complications.
Case Report: A 37 year old with learning difficulty was admitted with a fall. Initial diagnosis was that of Acute Coronary Syndrome for which appropriate treatment was started. He complained of difficulty
in swallowing and a nasogastric tube was passed in order to maintain his nutrition. Chest x-ray
post procedure revealed the tip of the feeding tube in right hemithorax with an air-fluid level.
Intercostal drain was inserted and drained 400 ml of hemorrhagic fluid with resorption of air
leading to full lung expansion.
Conclusions: Nasogastric tube insertion can cause serious complications. It can lead to tracheopulmonary, nasopharyngeal, esophageal and gastric trauma and perforation. These complications are potentially life-threatening and can lead to death. Be cautious while inserting nasogastric tube.
Never push the tube against resistance and while the patient is coughing.

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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