3 Hemothorax and Pneumothorax Nursing Care Plans


A collapsed lung happens when air (pneumothorax), blood (hemothorax), or other fluids (pleural effusion) enters the pleural space, the area between the lung and the chest wall. The intrathoracic pressure changes induced by increased pleural space volumes reduce lung capacity, causing respiratory distress and gas exchange problems and producing tension on mediastinal structures that can impede cardiac and systemic circulation. Pneumothorax may be traumatic (open or closed) or spontaneous.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning and management for patients with hemothorax or pneumothorax includes management of chest tube drainage, monitoring respiratory status, and providing supportive care.

Below are three (3) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for patients with pneumothorax and hemothorax:

  1. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  2. Risk for Trauma/Suffocation
  3. Deficient Knowledge
  4. Other Nursing Care Plans

Deficient Knowledge

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Deficient Knowledge

May be related to

  • Lack of exposure to information

Possibly evidenced by

  • Expressions of concern, request for information
  • Recurrence of problem

Desired Outcomes

  • Verbalize understanding of the cause of the problem.
  • Identify signs/symptoms requiring medical follow-up.
  • Follow the therapeutic regimen and demonstrate lifestyle changes if necessary to prevent recurrence.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Ascertain pathology of the individual problem. Information reduces the fear of unknown. Provides knowledge base for understanding the underlying dynamics of condition and significance of therapeutic interventions.
Determine the likelihood for recurrence and long-term complications. Certain underlying lung diseases such as severe COPD and malignancies may increase the incidence of recurrence. In otherwise healthy patients who suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax, incidence of recurrence is 10%–50%. Those who have a second spontaneous episode are at high risk for a third incident (60%).
Reassess signs and symptoms requiring immediate medical evaluation such as sudden chest pain, dyspnea or air hunger, progressive respiratory distress. Recurrence of pneumothorax or hemothorax requires medical intervention to prevent or reduce potential complications.
Review the significance of good health practices (adequate nutrition, rest, exercise). Maintenance of general well-being promotes healing and may prevent or limit recurrences.

See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Respiratory Care Plans

Care plans about respiratory system disorders:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.


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