What is a pneumothorax?
Pneumothorax is the condition that occurs when the air in the lung accumulates in the thorax outside the lung for various reasons and presses on the lung, and the lung contracts with the loss of air. A pneumothorax is a collapsed lung.
What are the causes of pneumothorax?
Pneumothorax due to chest injury Any blunt or penetrating injury to your chest can cause lung collapse. Some injuries may occur during physical assaults or car accidents, while others may occur during medical procedures that involve accidentally sticking a needle in the chest. Pneumothorax due to lung disease Damaged lung tissue is more likely to collapse.
Lung damage can result from many underlying diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, or pneumonia. Cystic lung diseases such as lymphangioleiomyomatosis and Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome cause round, thin-walled air sacs in the lung tissue that can rupture, resulting in pneumothorax. Pneumothorax with ruptured air bubbles Small air bubbles may develop above the lungs. These air bubbles sometimes burst, allowing air to leak into the space surrounding the lungs. Pneumothorax caused by mechanical ventilation A serious type of pneumothorax can occur in people who need mechanical assistance to breathe. The ventilator can create an imbalance in air pressure within the chest. The lung may collapse completely. What are the symptoms of pneumothorax? Bruising: bruising can be observed throughout the body with long, severe loss of air. Fatigue: lack of oxygen in the blood causes fatigue. Rapid breathing: breathing increases to provide the body with the oxygen it needs. Shortness of breath: air hunger is felt with deflating in the lungs. Cough: Cough may develop with air hunger and shrinkage of the lung. Palpitations: The heart rate accelerates due to the need for oxygen and the effects of the contracted lung on the heart. Sudden chest pain: A sudden stabbing pain develops where the pneumothorax develops. This pain should be differentiated from pressing, crushing cardiac pain.
How is pneumothorax treated?
In simple pneumothorax cases, the patient is followed under the supervision of a doctor, while the body is expected to repair the disease. Depending on the amount of accumulated air, the air can be emptied with a syringe and the deflated lung can be filled with air again. In cases of more severe and open pneumothorax, first of all, the patient's symptoms are stabilized and a chest tube is inserted between the ribs and drainage is performed. The aim is to evacuate the air leaking into the thorax and to provide suitable conditions for the deflated lung to be refilled with air. Surgical methods are used to directly repair the damage in major lung injuries.