[Difficult respiratory management in a patient with bilateral giant bullae]

Masui. 2009 Oct;58(10):1274-7.
[Article in Japanese]


We report a case of bilateral giant bullae in a patient with multiple traumas. He had his arm amputated at the shoulder because of a machine accident and admitted to our hospital. Chest X-ray showed right-sided pneumothorax with bilateral giant bullae. Trimming of the stump was performed immediately after the placement of a right chest tube. He gradually developed hypoxia and hypercapnia with acidemia during the operation because of atelectasis due to sputum. Postoperatively, enlargement of right giant bulla led to frequent respiratory failure and he received a bilateral bullectomy through a median sternotomy 3 weeks after the accident. It was difficult to ventilate him due to air leak from the bilateral bulla and SpO2 dropped to below 70% with 100% oxygen. We continued the operation with standby extracorporeal membrane oxygenator (ECMO). Although the operation was finished without ECMO finally, ECMO had better been kept ready during anethesia with giant bullae when life threatening complication may occur at any point.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Anesthesia*
  • Arm Injuries / surgery
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pneumothorax / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / surgery*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology