A patient with a hemothorax has become febrile with chills. He complains of chest pain and has a nonproductive cough. Which of the following could explain these findings?

Empyema

Explanation

•A hemothorax is a collection of blood in the pleural space (space between the chest wall and the lung).  Fluid accumulation from a hemothorax increases the risk of empyema.

•Empyema is an infected pocket of fluid in the pleural space, often referred to as pus.

•Pulmonary embolism does not typically cause a fever.

•A productive cough would be expected with pneumonia.

•Emphysema is a chronic lung disease and would not develop acutely. It is also not associated with a hemothorax.

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