Turkish Journal of Anaesthesiology & Reanimation
CASE REPORT

An 84-Year-Old Woman with Shortness of Breath and Low Oxygen Saturation: “Think Outside the Box”

1.

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Unit 2, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Academic Hospital of Udine, Udine, Italy

2.

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Unit 1, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Academic Hospital of Udine, Udine, Italy

3.

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Clinic, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Academic Hospital of Udine, Udine, Italy

4.

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Clinic, Department of Medicine, University of Udine, Udine, Italy

Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim 2020; 48: 505-508
DOI: 10.5152/TJAR.2020.53323
Read: 31 Downloads: 15 Published: 22 May 2020

An 84-year-old woman, who had been admitted to the emergency department (ED) several times because of dyspnoea, was treated for acute exacerbation of chronic respiratory failure without satisfactory clinical improvement. According to her medical history, 8 years earlier, she underwent a complicated cardiosurgical procedure that required tracheostomy and mechanical ventilation in the post-operative period for 45 days. Traditional X-Ray did not show any abnormal findings; however, high resolution thorax computed tomography (HRCT) scan revealed a severe tracheal stenosis, which was confirmed with bronchoscopy, and required immediate tracheostomy. Tracheal stenosis is a rare but severe complication that should be suspected when a patient with previous tracheostomy presents to the ED with dyspnoea even if tracheostomy had been closed many years before, because adaptive mechanism results in asymptomatic life for a long period.

Cite this article as: Buttera S, Deana C, Beltrame F, Bassi F, Vetrugno L, Bove T. An 84-Year-Old Woman with Shortness of Breath and Low Oxygen Saturation: “Think Outside the Box”. Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim 2020; 48(6): 505-8.

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