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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Anterior Lung Evisceration Following an Assault with Knife: A Case Report


Introduction: Evisceration of the lung is a rare consequence of open chest trauma that can be fatal. Evisceration of the lung refers to the protrusion of lung parenchyma through a defect of the thoracic wall, without parietal pleural or skin coverage.

Case report: A 20-year-old man was brought to the emergency department (ED) with left lung evisceration from stab wounds. The eviscerated lung was left in place, and the patient was not intubated in the ED. He was immediately taken to the operating room (OR) for intubation and surgical repair. Other significant injuries were ruled out, the eviscerated lung was retrieved, the chest wall defect was closed, and the patient recovered well. He was discharged after seven days in good condition.

Conclusion: The initial management of patients with lung evisceration is critical to prevent rapid decompensation and death. Appropriate ED airway management, lung retrieval in the OR, and thoracic wall repair is recommended for patients with lung evisceration.

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