About pneumothorax (collapsed lung)

What is pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?

Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) is a medical condition in which either the lungs collapse on the whole or only a portion of the lungs collapse. In this condition, the air enters the area between the lungs and chest wall known as a plural stag. 

  • In minor cases, Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)  may not reflect any symptoms and heal on its own. But in major cases, the person might experience certain chest pain and shortness of breath.
  • An accident, physical assault, or insertion of the needle into the chest might cause injury in the chest resulting in a pneumothorax.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, or pneumonia result in pneumothorax. 
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) can be caused by small air blisters that form on the top of the lungs. These air blisters crack, permitting air to spill into the space that encompasses the lungs.
  • A serious kind of pneumothorax can happen in individuals who need mechanical help to relax. The ventilator can cause an imbalance of air pressure inside the chest resulting in lung collapse. 
  • Some pneumothorax (collapsed lung) passes through genes. So, if a person’s family has a history of lung collapse, he may inherit the same.
  • Anyone who has already been through pneumothorax before is at increased risk of catching it once again.

List of condition:

It is medical condition when the part of lung got damage the alow air to pass between the space available in lungs and chest.

List of symptoms:

  • Sharp, stabbing chest pain that worsens when trying to breath in.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Bluish skin caused by a lack of oxygen.
  • Fatigue.

List of drugs:

  • Local Anesthetics.
  • Opiate Analgesics.
  • Benzodiazepines.

What are the symptoms for pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?

There are numerous signs and symptoms of a collapsed lung. The following are symptoms of pneumothorax (collapsed lung).

  • One side of the chest hurts (especially when taking deep breaths)- This is because, in most cases of pneumothorax (collapsed lung), fluid collection occurs in a part of the chest. In advanced cases, the entire chest may hurt as the accumulated fluid expands to the lungs. 
  • Cough- Patients often cough heavily and deeply. This is because there is a sputum collection in the chest. This creates pressure in the alveoli of the lung, which are like small airbags.
  • Breathing quickly- There is an increase in the respiratory rate. As the fluid in the chest puts pressure, a part of the lung cannot function properly. Yet, the oxygen requirement of the body remains the same. Hence, the body compensates by breathing rapidly.
  • Heart rate is high- As the breathing rate increases, the heart rate increases simultaneously.
  • Fatigue- Patients often feel tired and lethargic. This is because the body is deprived of oxygen.
  • Breathing problems- Other than a faster breathing rate, pneumothorax (collapsed lung)causes other breathing problems. Irregular breaths are commonly noticed.

  • The skin looks blue.- When the body is deprived of oxygen, it starts turning blue. Blue skin is considered to be an indication of lesser oxygen value. It is known as cyanosis. Cyanosis often starts from the extremities, the fingertips, and the toes.

What are the causes for pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?

Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Blunt or penetrating chest injury: Some injuries occur as a result of physical attacks or vehicle accidents, while others occur as a result of medical procedures that require the introduction of a needle into the chest.
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis and Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome: These are cystic lung illnesses that generate spherical, thin-walled air sacs in the lung tissue that can burst, resulting in a Pneumothorax.
  • Air blisters that have ruptured: Little air blisters (blebs) might form on the top of the lungs. These air blisters can occasionally burst, allowing air to flow into the area around the lungs. This can be seen if the blisters are of a larger site or infectious. In such cases, the chances of occurrence of Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) are indicated by the site, size, and pathogenesis of the blister.
  • Infection in the lung: An infection in the lung may often lead to fluid formation and collection in the lung, which further leads to Pneumothorax (collapsed lung).

  • Pneumonia: In several cases where pneumonia has lasted for a longer period of time, fluid collection in the chest can occur, often followed by Pneumothorax (collapsed lung).

What are the treatments for pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?

The goal of treating pneumothorax (collapsed lung) is to alleviate pressure on the lung and allow it to expand again. A secondary goal may be to avoid recurrences, depending on the origin of the pneumothorax.

Observation, chest tube insertion, needle aspiration, non-surgical repair, and surgery are all possible treatments. Supplemental oxygen treatment may be used to help with air reabsorption and lung expansion.

  • A needle attached to a syringe is placed between the ribs into the air-filled space pressing on the collapsed lung and used to suction out the excess air during a needle aspiration. This is known as fine needle aspiration surgery.
  • A chest tube is inserted similarly, with a one-way valve mechanism that drains air constantly until the lung reinflates.
  • To prevent the lung from collapsing again, the tube may need to be left in for a few hours or even days.
  • The next stage in cases involving an accident or repeated collapsed lungs is a non-surgical leak repair. This is known as pleurodesis and can be done in a variety of methods.
  • In the most severe situations, surgery to plug the leak or remove the collapsed section of the lung may be required.
  • In advanced cases, intubation can be indicated to help the patient breathe.

What are the risk factors for pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?

The risk factors are different for spontaneous and traumatic pneumothorax (collapsed lung):

  • contact sports, like football or hockey
  • ongoing assisted respiratory care

The patients at high risk of a non-traumatic pneumothorax (collapsed lung) include the following:

  • Smoking compromises the integrity of the lungs and affects the healthy tissue. The lungs also lose their ability to repair themselves.
  • Having an existing lung condition, like asthma or COPD- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder is a major risk factor for pneumothorax. It is a condition where the lung of the patient has been affected for a very long time. Due to this, the lungs become very weak. 
  • Have a family history of pneumothorax (collapsed lung), which may indicate genetic factors- Genes may be a contributing factor. 
  • Birt Hogg Dube (BHD) syndrome is an autosomal dominant genetic condition that causes pneumothorax, as well as kidney cancer, kidney and lung cysts, and noncancerous hair follicle tumors (fibrofolliculomas). Although lung cysts are found in 84 percent of BHD patients, only 24% will have a PTX.
  • Inflammation or infection in the alveoli is a major risk factor for pneumothorax.
  • Patients with a history of pneumothorax (collapsed lung) have severe chances of recurrence.
  • Patients who have a history of allergy have higher chances of infection.

Is there a cure/medications for pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?

A small pneumothorax (collapsed lung) may heal on its own; however, advanced conditions need treatment. 

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged area of the lung. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, most people make a full recovery from a pneumothorax (collapsed lung). 

  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) treatment might range from release with early follow-up to rapid needle decompression or implantation of a chest tube, depending on a number of circumstances.
  • Pulmonary physicians often utilize a single port medical thoracoscopy, whereas thoracic surgeons use a surgical suite with two ports. In some circumstances, patients are asked for their preferences.
  • Chest tubes are generally implanted in traumatic pneumothorax (collapsed lung) patients, and thoracic surgeons treat these patients because other chest organs may be impacted. 
  • When mechanical ventilation is required, the risk of tension pneumothorax increases dramatically, necessitating the insertion of a chest tube. Any open chest wound should be sealed with an airtight seal, as tension pneumothorax is a serious complication.
  • Urgent needle decompression is frequently used to treat tension pneumothorax. When "silent lung" is configured, needle decompression may be needed before transport to the hospital at the accident site, and can be performed by an emergency medical technician or other skilled experts.

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