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December 29, 1969

Pneumothorax Following Induction of Anesthesia

Author Affiliations

Lewisham Hospital London

JAMA. 1969;210(13):2398. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160390060025

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To the Editor:—  I was most interested to read the article by Christian et al on "Pneumothorax Following Induction of Anesthesia" (209:1710. 1969).The patient they described was already known to be unwell prior to anesthesia. It should, however, be noted that this complication may follow the induction of anesthesia in previously healthy patients.Together with my colleague, Dr. Cleave, I have described (Brit Med J2:1386, 1963) the case of a healthy 48-year-old woman who sustained a cardiac arrest during the induction of anesthesia for a gastric operation. When performing a thoracotomy for open cardiac massage, a pneumothorax was found that was due to rupture of an emphysematous bulla. After the circulation had been reestablished, a pneumonthorax was found on the other side of the chest, and both sides of the chest required drainage.The patient made a complete recovery and was able to have her operation