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At risk for recurrent pleural effusion?

By Anonymous September 22, 2011 - 6:28pm
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I was involved in an accident almost a month ago, which resulted in 4 broken ribs and a collapsed/bruised lung, for which they inserted a chest tube. I just had a thoracentesis today for pleural effusion (800 ml). Is there much of a chance of recurrence of this in the future? Also, my primary doctor doesn't seem to think I need a pneumonia shot this season. Should I insist? I'm only 40 and otherwise healthy, except for these complications from my accident.

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Hi Anon,

How many times have you had to have a thoracenthesis since your accident?

Unfortunately, fluid build up can recur although you have had a thoracenthesis done.

Some types of pleural effusion do not cause symptoms. Others cause a variety of symptoms, including:

Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Stomach discomfort
Coughing up blood
Shallow breathing
Rapid pulse or breathing rate
Weight loss
Fever, chills, or sweating

Keep in mind that although it can recur, it doesn't mean that it will.

As far as as the Pneumonia shot, it is entirely up to you do decide if you want to get it. It's usually recommended for the elderly due to their vulnerability to get Pneumonia.

Hope this helps,


September 23, 2011 - 6:03am
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