Survival by mediastinal chest drain due to pneumomediastinum resulting from COVID-19
Pneumomediastinum, pneumothorax, and subcutaneous emphysema may occur as rare complications of COVID-19. They are associated with worsened prognosis and survival from SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. The treatment of pneumomediastinum involves supportive care and management of underlying diseases. Our case presents a female patient suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia with life-threatening mediastinal emphysema. According to guidelines, literature, and other clinical sources, no further therapy options were recommended, and survival was improbable. During an interdisciplinary case discussion, we decided to establish a mediastinal drain and tracheal cannula. This achieved a significant reduction of emphysema as well as an improvement in the patient’s clinical condition and long-term survival. This case demonstrates a rarely used invasive therapy for pneumomediastinum. Furthermore, it demonstrates the importance of cooperation with other centers, interdisciplinary teamwork, and of presenting case reviews—especially when guidelines are unavailable.