Tracheobronchial injuries

In general, injuries to the trachea or major bronchi require operative repair. As indicated previously, a major bronchial injury is suggested by a pneumothorax which cannot be adequately decompressed with conventional tube thoracostomy or by an overwhelming air leak. The diagnosis is usually confirmed by bronchoscopy. Patients with smaller bronchial injuries can be treated by close observation if the lung can be completely re-expanded with chest tubes and there is no other reason for urgent thoracotomy.

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