Electrical injury: an unusual cause of pneumothorax and a review of literature

BMJ Case Rep. 2019 Aug 26;12(8):e230590. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2019-230590.


Electrical injuries are a common occurrence and can be minor or even fatal depending on the voltage to which an individual has been exposed to. Electrical current causes tissue damage by producing heat due to local tissue resistance. Serious electrocution may manifest with cutaneous burns, visceral injuries, organ perforation, and cardiac and respiratory effects. Pneumothorax as a complication of electrical injury is a very rare entity. We report one such case of electrical burn injury with right-sided pneumothorax as an immediate complication.

Keywords: pneumothorax; trauma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burns, Electric / complications*
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Cough / diagnosis
  • Cough / etiology
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pneumothorax* / diagnosis
  • Pneumothorax* / etiology
  • Pneumothorax* / physiopathology
  • Pneumothorax* / therapy
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods
  • Thoracentesis / methods*
  • Thoracic Cavity / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Treatment Outcome