Collapsed lung (pneumothorax)
Alternative names of this disease: Pneumothorax fallen lung; Spontaneous pneumothorax; Air surrounding the lung; Air outside the lung.
Definition: When air escapes from the lung, it is called a collapsed lung. The air then fills the gap between the lung and the chest wall outside of the lung. As a result of the accumulation of air, the lung is unable to expand as much as it typically does when you take a breath.
Causes of Collapsed lung
- A damage to the lung might result in a collapsed lung. A gunshot or knife wound to the chest, a rib fracture, or certain medical procedures are all possible injuries.
- Air blisters (blebs) that burst apart and discharge air into the area around the lung can cause a collapsed lung in rare circumstances. Air pressure fluctuations, such as while scuba diving or traveling to a high altitude, can cause this.
- A collapsed lung is more common among tall, slender persons and smokers.
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Lung disorders can increase the possibility of a collapsed lung:
- COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cough caused by whooping cough
- A collapsedlung might happen for no apparent reason in rare situations. A spontaneously collapsed lung is what this is called.
The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of a collapsed lung:
- A big inhale or a cough might aggravate sharp chest or shoulder discomfort.
- Breathing problems
- Nasal flare-ups (from shortness of breath)
- The symptoms of a bigger pneumothorax are more severe, including:
- Lack of oxygen causes the skin to turn a bluish color.
- Tightness in the chest
- Fatigue is easy to get by.
- Breathing patterns that are abnormal or need more effort to breathe
- Heart rate that is quite fast
- Shock and disintegration
Exams and tests
With a stethoscope, the health care professional will listen to your respiration. If you have a collapsed lung, you will notice that your breath sounds are reduced or absent on the afflicted side. It’s also possible that you have low blood pressure.
The following tests can be conducted:
- X-ray of the chest
- Other blood tests, such as arterial blood gases
- If further injuries or conditions are suspected, a CT scan is recommended.
Treatment of collapsed lung
A minor pneumothorax may resolve on its own with time. It’s possible that all you need is air and relaxation.
A needle may be used to enable air to escape from around the lung, allowing it to expand more completely. If you live close to the hospital, you may be permitted to return home.
A chest tube will be inserted between the ribs into the area surrounding the lungs to assist drain the air and allow the lung to re-expand if you have a big pneumothorax. You may need to stay in the hospital for several days with the chest tube in place. You may be able to go home if a tiny chest tube or flutter valve is utilized. The tube or valve will need to be removed, so you’ll need to return to the hospital.
If you have a collapsedlung, you are more prone to get another one if you:
Have experienced two previous collapsedlung episodes? How successfully you recover from a collapsed lung?
Complications that might occur
Any of the following complications might occur:
- In the future, there may be another collapsed lung.
- If there are major injuries or infections, there is shock, acute inflammation, or fluid in the lungs.