Massive hemothorax due to two bleeding sources with minor injury mechanism: a case report
Journal of Medical Case Reports
Massive hemothorax resulting from a minor injury mechanism is considered to be rare particularly when the diaphragm is injured. We report a case of massive hemothorax with bleeding from the intercostal artery and diaphragmatic damage caused by minor blunt trauma. Case presentation: An 83-year-old Japanese man was transported to our hospital 3 hours after falling out of bed. Computed tomography revealed hemothorax and multiple rib fractures. He underwent fluid resuscitation and a tube
... d a tube thoracostomy, but he became hemodynamically unstable. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed worsening hemothorax with contrast extravasation 4 hours after arrival at the hospital. Emergency angiography indicated hemorrhage in the area supplied by the tenth intercostal artery. Transcatheter arterial embolization stabilized his vital signs for a short period. However, further hemodynamic stabilization required a thoracotomy, which revealed diaphragmatic trauma, which was removed and sutured before fixing his fractured ribs. His postoperative course was uneventful, and he was transferred to another hospital for rehabilitation without complications on hospital day 29. Conclusions: Minor mechanisms of blunt trauma can cause rib fractures and massive hemothorax. Traumatic diaphragm injury should be considered a differential diagnosis if hemodynamic instability persists after transcatheter arterial embolization in patients with lower level rib fractures.