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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094On-line version ISSN 1806-907X


ZUGLIANI, Affonso Henrique et al. Intraoperative pulmonary barotrauma during ophthalmologic surgery: case report. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2008, vol.58, n.1, pp.63-68. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nowadays, severe anesthetic complications caused by the improper use of mechanical ventilators are rare. However, technical details even in recent models can be a trap for the anesthesiologist and threaten patient safety. The objective of this report was to demonstrate the importance of a careful analysis of the device to be used, as well as to detect and treat intraoperative tension pneumothorax. CASE REPORT: A 16-year old female patient, physical status ASA I, underwent corneal conjunctival covering under general anesthesia. Anesthesia was maintained with isoflurane and controlled mechanical ventilation. No abnormalities were observed during anesthesia. At the final phase of the surgery, after mobilizing the anesthesia device to start the awakening process, the patient developed hypoxia, hypertension and ventilatory difficulties. After removal of the sterile drapes from the surgical field, subcutaneous emphysema was evident in the face, neck and upper limb. The tracheal cannula, which contained blood, was changed. A chest X-ray confirmed the diagnosis of pneumothorax that was immediately drained. Inspection of the equipment revealed the presence of a kink in the tubing connecting the inferior portion of the canister to the equipment itself caused by mobilization of the articulated arm, blocking the normal flow of gases and leading to pulmonary barotrauma. CONCLUSIONS: The development of tension pneumothorax during general anesthesia with positive pressure ventilation should always be considered. Several factors can contribute to the development of this condition, which should be considered when they are present during surgeries. The anesthesia equipment should be examined carefully to detect potential causes of anesthetic complications.

Keywords : COMPLICATIONS [barotrauma]; EQUIPMENT [Anesthesia Device]; EQUIPMENT [Ventilator].

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