Collapsed Lung

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A collapsed lung is a life-threatening condition, preventing you from absorbing oxygen into the blood stream in the normal way. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A collapsed lung, or pneumothorax, results from a buildup of air in the space between the lung and the chest wall. As the amount of air in this space increases, the pressure against the lung causes it to collapse. This prevents your lung from expanding properly when you try to breathe in, causing shortness of breath and chest pain.

A collapsed lung feels like a sharp, stabbing chest pain that worsens as you breathe deeply. The situation may become life-threatening if not treated quickly.

A pneumothorax is usually caused by an injury to the chest, such as a broken rib or puncture wound. It may also occur suddenly without an injury, called a spontaneous pneumothorax.

Spontaneous pneumothorax can result from conditions such as emphysema, asthma, cystic fibrosis and pneumonia.

A minor pneumothorax may only require observation. More serious cases are treated by inserting a needle or a chest tube into the chest cavity. Report to the emergency room immediately with any sudden onset of shortness of breath or chest pain.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.