Pneumothorax

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A 58-year-old woman had had lung and heart disease for 8 years, which was more severe during winter. The patient required acupuncture treatment for cough, shortness of breath, chest congestion, and excessive mucus. Needling treatment: Points UB13 (acupoint at the level of T3) and UB15 (acupoint at T5) were needled to a depth of 1.5 cm. The patient felt chest and back pain and severe shortness of breath immediately after removal of the needles. Mouth respiration, sweating, and cold limbs were observed.

Examination: The patient's blood pressure was 110/80 mm Hg; pulse rate was 108/minute; heartbeat was 108/minute; respiration rate was 28/ minute; temperature was 37.6° C. Dark-purple lips, right-sided convex chest, and increased distance between right ribs were noted. Clear and low respiratory sounds were heard in the right lung. The heart valve sounds were not clear. The white blood cell count was 19,800/mm3, and the neutrophil count was 92%. Radiographs showed no lung tissue in the lateral and middle part of the right lung. Sixty percent of the right lung was compressed. Electrocardiography revealed sinus tachycardia and pulmonary P-wave. Diagnosis: Severe right pneumothorax, secondary infection of chronic bronchitis, and complication of lung-heart disease with pulmonary cerebral disease.

Treatment: Oxygen was administered. Close drainage was performed at the second right intercostal muscles close to the sternum for 7 days. Antibiotics, steroids, and medication to excite the respiratory center were prescribed. The patient was discharged from the hospital after 13 days with complete recovery from pneumothorax.

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