SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Case from the other night--what would you have done?

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by hudsontc, May 21, 2014.

  1. hudsontc

    hudsontc Attending 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    Gentleman in his early 50's presents for open reduction and fixation of thoracic rib fractures 7-10 (not a standard of care) following a T-bone mechanism MVA. Small hemothorax and pneumothorax on ipsilateral side of procedure. To be in lateral position and has two 18g IVs. Hemodynamically stable and on 2L NC. Pain service placed a thoracic epidural which seemed to be working well. Other than a 30 py smoking history, dyslipidemia, and hypertension...he denies any other medical problems. Hemodynamically stable. He arrives from a floor bed and is managed by the trauma service. Before preoxygenation, his saturation is noted to be 80%

    How do you proceed? I'll describe how the case evolved after a few responses and am genuinely interested in learning, as much as I am in presenting what I think to be an interesting case.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. caligas

    caligas ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    Needs chest tube and note on chart explaining indication for procedure.
    dr doze likes this.
  4. Direct Laryngoscopy

    Direct Laryngoscopy Account on Hold 10+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    Is there any particular reason why rIb fractures are being surgically managed?

    Anywho, what dose the PE, cxr and ABG show?
  5. anes

    anes ASA Member 2+ Year Member

    Nov 9, 2012

    Chest tube prior to procedure (may offer some light sedation for this portion)

    Prop/Sux/Tube....... Or maybe bolus with 0.5% bupivicaine or 2% lido and do the procedure with just that and a face mask.
  6. hudsontc

    hudsontc Attending 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    Explanation for procedure: enrolled in an outcomes study for ORIF of rib fractures.

    No ABG preop. Chest Xray shows mild hemothorax AND pneumothorax on operative side. Pain service had bolused 5 mL of .25% bupivacaine in preop. holding for patient comfort prior to my arrival with good effect.

    PE: Normal work of breathing. Patient receiving .125% bupivacaine at 10mL/hr through T5-T6 epidural. Hydromorphone PCA with .3mg/hr basal rate and .2mg q10m PRN. Pupils 2mm and reactive. Patient mildly somnolent but oriented. No discernible difference in sidedness with lung auscultation.
  7. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Home Again
    How recent was the injury?

    (Edit - just saw your most recent post, sounds fresh.)
  8. GhostTree

    GhostTree ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Does he have a chest CT scan? With such an injury I imagine he might. There is probably a good amount of lung contusion on the injured side as well that is contributing to the hypoxia that won't correct with chest tube or hematoma evacuation. Still, he should have a chest tube prior to induction.

    He's already demonstrating how he will handle one lung ventilation.

    Does the hypoxia improve with preoxygenation?
  9. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    the opposite pole
    (I am an ambulatory guy, so take what I say with a grain of salt.)

    Sats of 80% despite O2 and good pain control? Patient not optimized for non-emergent surgery. Surgery postponed. Not fixed with chest tube? Patient intubated electively and optimized preop, taken to the OR from SICU. Are you ready to stop the surgery if, after induction, you still experience crappy sats and decide that the patient needs further optimization before OLV?

    The point here is: if this is not the standard of care, the surgery is not emergent, hence the need for preop optimization. This is not a patient with severe flail chest who has failed standard treatments and needs chest stabilization; this is a medical experiment. What if both lungs are contused, and we are playing OLV on them? Are you convinced that the patient's consent, given in a post-traumatic stress situation or while "mildly somnolent" under the influence of drugs, will stand up in court?
  10. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    The ivory tower.
    CX case.
    Stat CXR to eval for progression of ptx/hemothorax +/- chest tube. If he does not respond to increased O2, intubate and off to ICU.
    Spiral CT for r/o PE.
    No way in hell does this guy get an elective procedure. He is not stable.
  11. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    The ivory tower.
    10 ml/hr seems rather high for his epidural as well.
  12. dhb

    dhb Member Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2006
    What kind of games are you guys playing? :wtf:
  13. hudsontc

    hudsontc Attending 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    Patient has been saturating in the mid 90's on the floor with nasal cannula. His saturations return to normal when I ask him to take a deep breath. I attribute his hypoxemia to the basal infusion of hydromorphone that the pain service continued after they placed the thoracic epidural (and had subsequently been stopped).

    Injury is <48hrs old. CT shows contusion at the level of the rib fractures. Chest x-ray from earlier in the afternoon shows "mild hemothorax, mild pneumothorax". Guy is conversive, gives a good history and showing no signs of increased work of breathing.
  14. Planktonmd

    Planktonmd Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    The South
    An ORIF of the ribs does not require one lung ventilation does it?
  15. Libertas

    Libertas ASA Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    I did a plating a few months back on a multitrauma patient with flail chest. The patient came from the ICU with a standard ETT and we did not exchange it. I believe they did very slightly/briefly violate the thoracic cavity, but we did not need a double lumen tube. I think they already had chest tubes on the side of the orif, but I don't remember for sure.
  16. hudsontc

    hudsontc Attending 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    Surgeon said that he didn't need a double lumen tube. I wanted a chest tube and surgeon assures me that they can pop one in if any issues arise.

    Induction is uneventful. Intubated and then beanbagged into lateral position. Vitals rock solid. Surgeon notices bubbling in his field and tells me "we probably should have used a DLT". I ask him to place a chest tube and he tells me that he'll wait to see if we have any problems because...well, the the bubbling has stopped and "I haven't placed one of those since residency."

    I'm thinking to myself, "Great. I'm working with a surgeon who doesn't know how to manage the most likely and most immediate/dangerous complication of his own procedure."
  17. hudsontc

    hudsontc Attending 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    By the time they were ready to start closing, patient was breathing on his own with minimal pressure support and looking like a rose. I had titrated a total of .6mg of hydromorphone over the last hour of the case according to his RR/EtCO2.

    Patient emerges and is tachypneic/hypoxemic/combative...pulling his own endotracheal tube and IVs out. We call for an emergent chest tube placement. I mask him down and re-intubate him. Chest tube goes in easily and has minimal output, no leak...a little surprised. I take him to the ICU where he's extubated a few hours later uneventfully.

    Were it mine to do over, I wouldn't have cancelled him but I would not have proceeded without a chest tube. Light sedation, some supplemental local and a chest tube pre-induction in the OR.
  18. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    The ivory tower.
    Just thinking out loud, but Maybe a surgeon who can't put in a chest tube shouldn't be designing and/or participating in studies on how to manage chest trauma.
    southernIM and hudsontc like this.
  19. Hawaiian Bruin

    Hawaiian Bruin Breaking Good 10+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2003
    Head asplode.

    Wtf, man.
  20. FFP

    FFP Grunt, cog, body, pompous ass Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    the opposite pole
    Imagine the kind of surgeon who would do research about ORIF in uncomplicated rib fractures, that would heal nicely even on their own. It sounds almost like doing ORIF on clavicle fractures.
  21. nap$ter

    nap$ter ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    May 30, 2008
    a - i would not have done this case. if the sats are 80 preop (even if they improve with a deep breath); chest surgery ain't gonna make em better. postpone for optimization/diagnostic workup/chest tube/discontinuation and metabolism of systemic hydromorphone. elective case.

    b - your surgeon is a poser - how did your partners let you get sucked into this case?

    c - how did you get from green to red? of tachypnea/hypoxemia/combative which came first? how could you tell a combative patient was hypoxemic? was he cyanotic? pretty hard to get a sat on a combative patient... why did you decide a pneumo caused the progression from green to red? did you really "mask him down" ie like a peds case? or did you mean you put the mask on and gave some propofol? did a CXR show a pneumo?

    i dunno if i would have reintubated and asked for a chest tube. i wasn't there, though. from what you describe, I would have given a slug of propofol to regain control, mask and get some vitals on a still/sedated patient, mebbe CXR, proceed from there. maybe sats are fine with a mask, let him wake up again after rebooting with the propofol button.

    sounds like the whole thing was a goat rodeo.
    southernIM likes this.
  22. Ignatius J

    Ignatius J 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Got to love academia....the patient may have an increased chance of dying but by God we got someone else in the study....yes, this 4th year resident is ready to get out.

Share This Page