Tension pyopneumothorax in an immune-competent child in Uyo, Nigeria: a case report


  • Echey Ijezie Department of Paediatrics, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital [UUTH], P.M.B 1136, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
  • Eyo Effiong Ekpe Department of Surgery, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital [UUTH], P.M.B 1136, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria




Pyopneumothorax, Anaemia, Dullness, Percussion, Air-fluid, Thoracostomy, Drainage


Tension pyopneumothorax is a relatively uncommon complication of pneumonia. The diagnosis of pyopnuemothorax should be considered based on clinical signs, such as decreased air entry, hyper-resonant percussion note and dullness to percussion over the affected area. Profound anaemia may also occur. The striking horizontal line [air-fluid level] on chest radiograph demarcating the pneumothorax from the empyema should alert the clinician to the diagnosis of a pyopneumothorax. Antibiotic therapy in combination with closed tube thoracostomy drainage helped ensure a good outcome in this instance. A case of tension pneumothorax is herein reported to illustrate the complications of pneumonia in children, and the implications of delayed presentation. It is hoped that advocacy will be consistently conducted at facility and community levels to improve the awareness and care-seeking behaviour of parents and caregivers.


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