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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spontaneous Pneumothorax as a Complication of COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Case Report

  • Author(s): Perice, Leland
  • Roit, Zhanna
  • Llovera, Ingrid
  • Flanagan-Kundle, Mary G.
  • et al.

Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. It typically presents with respiratory symptoms such as fevers, cough, and shortness of breath. As the number of cases increases, however, COVID-19 is being increasingly recognized as being associated with a variety of other respiratory pathologies.

Case Report: We present the case of a 59-year-old man with COVID-19 pneumonia who acutely decompensated after having been on the medicine floor for two weeks. He was found to have a tension pneumothorax. This was treated with a needle decompression followed by a chest tube insertion. The patient subsequently recovered and was discharged.

Conclusion: This case highlights the importance of considering tension pneumothorax as a possible cause of shortness of breath in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

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