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 for patients with pneumothorax and hemothorax:

  1. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  2. Risk for Trauma/Suffocation
  3. Deficient Knowledge
  4. Other Nursing Care Plans
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Deficient Knowledge: Absence or deficiency of cognitive information related to specific topic.

May be related to

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  • Lack of exposure to information

Possibly evidenced by

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

Desired Outcomes

  • Verbalize understanding of cause of problem (when known).
  • Identify signs/symptoms requiring medical follow-up.
  • Follow therapeutic regimen and demonstrate lifestyle changes if necessary to prevent recurrence.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Ascertain pathology of individual problem.Information reduces fear of unknown. Provides knowledge base for understanding underlying dynamics of condition and significance of therapeutic interventions.
Determine likelihood for recurrence and long-term complications.Certain underlying lung diseases such as severe COPD and malignancies may increase 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 significance of good health practices (adequate nutrition, rest, exercise).Maintenance of general well-being promotes healing and may prevent or limit recurrences.
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See Also


You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Respiratory Care Plans

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Care plans about respiratory system disorders:

Further Reading


Recommended books and resources:

  1. Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes
  2. Nurse's Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales
  3. Nursing Diagnoses 2015-17: Definitions and Classification
  4. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V-TR)
  5. Manual of Psychiatric Nursing Care Planning
  6. Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans
  7. Delmar's Maternal-Infant Nursing Care Plans, 2nd Edition
  8. Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans

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