Tension pneumothorax (collapsed lung)

Chest | Pulmonology | Tension pneumothorax (collapsed lung) (Disease)


Pneumothorax is the result of accumulation of air in the space between the lung and the chest wall, so pleural space. As the amount of air increases, and increases pressure on the lungs, causing collapse (collapse). Prevents the lungs to collapse properly when you breathe in, causing shortness of breath and chest pain.

A pneumothorax may become life-threatening if the pressure in your chest prevents the lungs to bring in an adequate amount of blood oxygen. Pneumothorax is determined usually by trauma to the chest, such as for example a broken rib or puncture wound. Can also occur suddenly without apparent cause (spontaneous pneumothorax).

Symptoms include: Dyspnea (shortness of breath), from mild to severe, depending on how extensive is the collapsed lung;Chest pain, sudden onset, severe on the same side with collapsed lung. Symptoms may worsen if altitude is changed (for example, flying or descending in depth).

Causes and Risk factors

Spontaneous pneumothorax can result from damage to the lungs caused by conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis and pneumonia.

May also occur in people without lung disease. This is where an air-filled cyst ruptures and releases air into the pleural space. People who smoke cigarettes are more susceptible to spontaneous pneumothorax, compared to nonsmokers. Also, the more people smoke more cigarettes per day, the greater your chances of pneumothorax. Symptoms depend pneumothorax. In minor cases, will not cause any symptoms. In severe cases, symptoms develop rapidly and may lead to shock.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In most cases, chest radiography is used for diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend also blood tests that measure blood oxygen levels. Computered tomography (CT) or ultrasound may be necessary for diagnosis and disease severity treatment. Pneumothorax composition scheme requires only minor observation by a doctor. In some cases, oxygen may be administered, usually a mask. More serious cases are treated by inserting a needle or tube into the chest cavity. May be needed surgery if the original treatment is ineffective or if the pneumothorax returns. ...