Pneumothorax occurs when there is air or gas in the pleural cavity.
Also known as Collapsed lung,it occurs when air leaks into the space between the chest wall and the lung which pushes on the outside of the lung making it collapse.It can collapse wholly or partially.
This leakage of air into the lungs can be caused by
1.Chest injury by a blunt object can cause a lung collapse.
2.Lung disease-damaged or a diseased lung is more likely to collapse.Diseases like asthma,pulmonary fibrosis,Sarcoidosis,Tuberculosis increase the chances of a lung collapse.Certain connective tissue disorders like rheumatoid arthritis,Polymyositis can also cause Pneumothorax.
3.Small air blisters called blebs that can develop on top of the lung.
4.Mechanical ventilation-persons who need a ventilator can experience a disparity in air pressure within the chest making the lungs collapse. There are four types of Lung collapse that is
1.Primary spontaneous Pneumothorax-an abnormal accumulation of air in the pleural cavity that can cause a partial or complete lung collapse.
2.Secondary spontaneous Pneumothorax-occurs in the prescence of an existing lung disease.
3.Tension Pneumothorax which occurs when air accumulates between the chest wall and the lung and increases pressure in the chest, causing a reduction in the amount of blood returned to the heart and is rapidly fatal if untreated.
4.Traumatic Pneumothorax which occurs because of an injury to the chest causing the lung to collapse.
A person is at a higher risk of getting a Pneumothorax if they smoke,if the condition runs in their family or if they had an incidence of a Pneumothorax before.
Some of the symptoms of a collapsed lung are:.
*Sharp stabbing chest pains that increase with breathing in.
*Shortness of breath.
*Bluish skin due to lack of oxygen.
*Arrhythmia and fast breathing.
*A dry hacking cough.
*Chest pain that is severe on one side of the chest.
*Confusion or dizziness.
*Loss of consciousness.
A Pneumothorax is regarded as a medical emergency and can result in complications like respiratory failure effusion,hemorrhage and if the amount of air trapped affects the heart it can cause shock,cardiac arrest ,low blood oxygen.
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