What is the role of hemodynamic response in the pathophysiology of hemothorax?

Updated: Jul 13, 2020
  • Author: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM; Chief Editor: Jeffrey C Milliken, MD  more...
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Hemodynamic changes vary, depending on the amount of bleeding and the rapidity of blood loss. Blood loss of up to 750 mL in a 70-kg man should cause no significant hemodynamic change. Loss of 750-1500 mL in the same individual will cause the early symptoms of shock (ie, tachycardia, tachypnea, and a decrease in pulse pressure).

Significant signs of shock with signs of poor perfusion occur with loss of blood volume of 30% or more (1500-2000 mL). Because the pleural cavity of a 70-kg man can hold 4 L of blood or more, exsanguinating hemorrhage can occur without external evidence of blood loss.

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