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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmunary Fibrosis Relation to a Trauma

10/01/2009

Question:

My husband had a big car accident in 2005.Multiples open fractures on both legs(right knee gone,both ankles,tibia and femur)head trauma and fractured sternum and ribs with retrosternal hematoma and atelectasis.10 days coma,intubated,mechanical respirator,heavy doses of many medications and more than 2 months without moving of the bed.The legs have been take care of but there`s never been a follow-up for the sternum.2years and a half later he has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.The lung specialist says that it`s not related to the accident but we doubt it because before the accident he was in perfect shape and never had problems with his lungs.What do you think?

Answer:

Any form of injury to the lung can result in post-inflammatory pulmonary fibrosis. Often, this can be distinguished from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis by the chest CT scan. However, in some cases, a lung biopsy is necessary to distinguish between the two.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University