The etiologies of pediatric lung injury requiring surgical intervention can be infectious, traumatic, congenital, or iatrogenic. Childhood pneumonia is a significant global health problem affecting 150 million children worldwide. Sequelae of pulmonary infections potentially requiring surgery include bronchiectasis, lung abscess, pneumatocele, and empyema. Trauma, congenital conditions such as cystic fibrosis and iatrogenic injuries can result in pneumothoraces, chylothoraces, or bronchopleural fistulae. Recurrence rates for spontaneous pneumothorax treated non-operatively in pediatric patients approach 50-60%. Chylothoraces in newborns may occur spontaneously or due to birth trauma, whereas in older children the etiology is almost always iatrogenic. This article examines the surgical management for the complications of lung injury in pediatric patients. In addition, we review the available pediatric evidence for early tracheostomy as well as treatment strategies for the negative ramifications of tracheostomy.
- Lung injury