ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
COVID-19 and pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema: Analysis of risk factors
Yasemin Büyükkarabacak1, Mehmet Gökhan Pirzirenli1, Selçuk Gurz1, Hasan Abacı2, Ayşen Taslak Şengül1, Burçin Çelik1, Ahmet Basoğlu1
1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Ondokuz Mayıs University Faculty of Medicine, Samsun, Türkiye
2Biometrics and Genetics Unit, Ondokuz Mayıs University Faculty of Agriculture, Samsun, Türkiye
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2023.23081

Background: In this study, we aimed to analyze the risk factors of barotrauma in patients who were followed in the intensive care unit due to novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia.

Methods: Between March 2020 and January 2021, a total of 261 patients (155 males, 106 females; mean age: 63.3±15.3 years; range, 11 to 91 years) who were followed in the intensive care unit due to COVID-19 pneumonia and were diagnosed with pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, and subcutaneous emphysema were retrospectively analyzed. Demographics data of the patients, past and current medical history, clinical management, patient progress, and survival data were obtained from medical records of our hospital.

Results: Twenty-seven of the patients were diagnosed with barotrauma. A total of 88.8% of the patients were followed with intubation. The development of pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, and subcutaneous emphysema due to barotrauma was not dependent on sex, smoking/non-smoking status, using/not using corticosteroids, or comorbid diseases. There was a significant correlation between pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, and subcutaneous emphysema development in intubated patients with different ventilator modes. Changing the ventilator mode from synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation to airway pressure release ventilation increased the possibility of barotrauma by 15 times.

Conclusion: Despite all lung-protective applications, barotrauma is a common complication, particularly in mechanically ventilated patients who have COVID-19 pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. Mechanical ventilator pressure modes should be patientspecific and followed carefully and frequently for the risk of barotrauma.

Keywords : Barotrauma, COVID-19 pneumonia, pneumomediastinum, pneumothorax, subcutaneous emphysema
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