Category: Visual Diagnosis
50 yo female s/p motor vehicle crash. Diagnosis?
Answer: Pneumomediastinum from pneumothorax
Mediastinal air has multiple causes:
Listen for Hamman's sign ("crunching" with cardiac auscultation) and feel for crepitus (distinct feeling on palpation).
Treat the precipitating cause.
Usually resolves without mediastinal decompression; air travels along tissue planes decompressing increased mediastinal pressure.