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Case based discussions
A case for the therapeutic use of perfluorocarbon in pulmonary atelectasis
  1. Shreya Bali1,
  2. Gareth Morgan2,
  3. Andrew Nyman3,
  4. Simona Turcu4,
  5. Andrew Durward3
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesia, Homerton University Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Evelina Children's Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Evelina Children's Hospital, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Respiratory Medicine, Evelina Children's Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew Durward, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Evelina Children's Hospital, Westminister Rd, London SE1 7EH, UK; Andrew.Durward{at}

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This is a case report formatted as a clinical handover discussion between a junior ward paediatrician (SB) and senior paediatric intensive care consultant (AD) and cardiology consultant (GM).

SB: I have been handed over a 3-year-old patient from the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). She has a complex medical history and spent the first year of her life in PICU. She had a repair of a hypoplastic-aortic-arch and a tracheo-oesophageal fistula as a neonate but remained ventilator dependent for months with left main bronchus (LMB) compression. Separation from the ventilator was eventually achieved, after a failed aortopexy, with a 20×6 mm Palmaz metallic stent inserted into the LMB. This permitted discharge home for 2 years but she gradually outgrew the neonatal stent, which had become embedded within the LMB.

She represented with recurrent chest infections and left lung collapse, thus necessitating removal and replacement of the LMB stent. The patient also had aortic valve stenosis and required corrective open heart surgery. As she was undergoing bypass, it was decided to remove the embedded bronchial stent during the valve repair.

During bypass surgery, a small bronchial incision was made through which the embedded stent was removed. Due to heparinisation, the procedure was complicated by significant mucosal bleeding into the LMB, which filled the left lung with blood. Postprocedure, the left lung remained opacified on X-ray (figure 1A). The PICU team were unable to open the lung despite physiotherapy, saline lavage, bronchoscopy and high-pressure dual lung ventilation. However, she has been transferred to the ward self-ventilating in air and her last chest X-ray showed reinflation of the left lung, how was this achieved given that all conventional methods failed?

Figure 1

(A) Collapsed left lung immediately following cardiac bypass and surgical removal of left main bronchus (LMB) stent; (B) perfluorocarbon (PFC) instillation into the …

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  • Contributors AD, GM, ST and AN were involved in clinical care of the patient; SB, AD and GM wrote the manuscript and AN produced the figure.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.