A 61-year-old male was referred to the outpatient clinic at the Llandough Hospital (Penarth, UK) with persistent left-sided chest pain and a pleural effusion. Apart from mild exertional dyspnoea, he had no other respiratory symptoms of note. He had a past history of ulcerative colitis and had undergone a total colectomy 10 years previously after a severe exacerbation failed to settle with medical therapy. During the operation, there was significant peritoneal soiling after a sealed perforation in the transverse colon gave way. The patient spent an eventful post-operative course in the intensive care unit, where he required further laparotomies for drainage of subphrenic, subhepatic and pelvic collections. A chest drain was also inserted to treat a left-sided empyema. The patient's condition slowly improved, and he was eventually discharged from hospital 8 weeks later.
- ©ERS 2006
Breathe articles are open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Licence 4.0.