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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

This sounds like a condition called "subcutaneous emphysema", and is caused by air leaking into the skin. A known complication of the procedure to insert a drain in the pleural space, to re-inflate a pneumothorax. The fact that this occurred immediately after the chest tube was placed, makes it likely, but not certain, that this was the cause. This does not mean there's been any malpractice. Surgery, even when performed correctly, does not always work as we hope. It resolves slowly, since the diffusion gradient for nitrogen gas (80% of the air is nitrogen), is very small, in the body.

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