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Fifteen-minute consultation: A structured approach to a child with primary spontaneous pneumothorax
  1. Simon James Buckley1,
  2. John Adu2,
  3. Donald Whitaker3,
  4. Atul Gupta4,5
  1. 1 General Paediatrics, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Radiology, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3 Cardiothoracic Surgery, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  4. 4 Respiratory Pediatrics, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  5. 5 Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Atul Gupta, Respiratory Pediatrics, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, SE5 9RS, UK; atul.gupta{at}


Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is an uncommon presentation in children but may occur at any age and occurs in patients with no pre-existing lung disease. Management aims are to re-expand the collapsed lung, relieve pressure in the intrapleural space and avoid a tension pneumothorax. Correct management of PSP will avoid unnecessary intervention, reduce length of hospital stay and also reduce the risk of recurrence. There are no established guidelines for treating PSP in children and there is significant variation in management among centres and clinicians. This article provides a clear, evidence-based and structured approach to assessment and management of PSP in children and young people.

  • adolescent health
  • therapeutics
  • physiology

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  • Correction notice This article has been amended since it was first published. Figure 3 has been enlarged so that the text is more readable.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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