Heimlich valve and hemopneumothorax

Case contributed by Dr Jayanth Keshavamurthy

Presentation

Gun shot injury to the right chest wall and bleeding.

Patient Data

Age: 17 years
Gender: Male

Status post gunshot wound to the right chest with moderate hemopneumothorax status post Heimlich valve decompression. Radiopaque bullet fragments seen overlying the right hemithorax. Subcutaneous emphysema. Mediastinal shift to left.

Case Discussion

The Heimlich valve is a small one-way valve used for chest drainage of air/fluid. It is easily used by emergency medical personnel at the site of gunshot injuries.

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