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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What can produce complete lung whiteout?

So you looked at the patients chest x-ray and observed complete lung whiteout. Now you're wondering what the cause might be. The causes might be:
  1. Mucus plug blocking mainstem bronchi:

  2. Right mainstem intubation

  3. Total lung collapse (massive pneumothorax)

  4. Massive Pleural effusion

  5. Massive hemothorax

  6. Pulmonary edema

  7. Severe pneumonia
Mediastinal shift may help you diagnose the above. More on Mediastinal shifts coming soon in a post called pneumothorax and hemathorax.  Stay tuned.

Source for this post: Xiong, Lian, "Complete Lung Whiteout," Nursing Critical Care, July 1, 2009.



Anonymous said...

a massive pneumothorax will have a black lung field not a lung whiteout

Rick Frea said...

Very interesting observation. I didn't even catch that. I was just copying the list from the magazine article.