Spontaneous Pneumothorax of Newborns

One other pulmonary cause of sudden death should be mentioned. This is spontaneous pneumothorax of the newborn.67,68 This entity is relatively uncommon, occurring in 1-2% of live births, and is usually benign, with virtually all term infants having resolution without sequelae, often without the condition's being diagnosed. It should be suspected in any apparently healthy newborn who dies suddenly and unexpectedly in a hospital nursery. An X-ray prior to autopsy will make the diagnosis (Figure 3.16).

Pneumothorax Newborns

Figure 3.15 An 80-year-old female who exsanguinated from massive hemoptysis due to tuberculosis and bronchiectasis.

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Figure 3.16 Pneumothorax of newborn with left tension pneumothorax and displacement of heart and left lung into right chest cavity.

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