Bronchial injury due to blunt chest trauma is rare, and its rarity and the fact that it has two distinct modes of presentation may considerably delay diagnosis. Two recent cases illustrate the two main types of injury and presentation. In the first the rupture is intrapleural and air escapes into the pleural space; insertion of a chest drain leads to a continuous air leak. In the second type the rupture is largely extrapleural with little communication with the pleural cavity; initially symptoms may be mild or absent but complications may occur later.
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