Barotrauma and pneumothorax

J Thorac Dis. 2015 Feb;7(Suppl 1):S38-43. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2015.01.31.


Barotrauma is physical damage to body tissues caused by a difference in pressure between a gas space inside, or in contact with the body, and the surrounding fluid. This situation typically occurs when the organism is exposed to a significant change in ambient pressure, such as when a scuba diver, a free-diver or an airplane passenger ascends or descends, or during uncontrolled decompression of a pressure vessel, but it can also happen by a shock wave. Whales and dolphins are also vulnerable to barotrauma if exposed to rapid and excessive changes in diving pressures. In the current review we will focus on barotraumas from definition to treatment.

Keywords: Barotrauma; ICU; pneumothorax; ventilation.

Publication types

  • Review