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What Is Pneumothorax?

Pneumothorax is the condition caused by the accumulation of air in the lungs outside the lungs in the thoracic cage for various reasons and the shrinkage of the lungs with the loss of air. Pneumothorax is a collapsed lung.

What Are The Causes of Pneumothorax?

Pneumothorax as a result of chest injury
Any blunt or piercing injury to your chest can cause the lung to collapse. Some injuries can occur during physical attacks or car accidents, while others can occur during medical procedures involving accidental needle sticking into the chest.

Pneumothorax due to lung disease
Damaged lung tissue is more likely to collapse. Lung damage can be caused by many underlying diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, or pneumonia. Cystic lung diseases such as lymph angioleiomyomatosis and Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome cause round, thin-walled air sacs in the lung tissue that can rupture, resulting in pneumothorax.

Pneumothorax caused by fragmented air bubbles
Small air bubbles may develop above the lungs. These air bubbles sometimes burst, allowing air to seep into the space surrounding the lungs.

Pneumothorax caused by mechanical ventilation
A serious type of pneumothorax can occur in people who need mechanical help to breathe. The ventilator can create an imbalance in air pressure in the chest. The lung may collapse completely.

What Are The Symptoms of Pneumothorax?

Bruising: It may be observed throughout the body with prolonged, severe air loss.
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 extinction in the lungs.

Cough: Cough may develop with air hunger and shrinkage of the lungs.

Palpitations: Pulse accelerates depending on the need for oxygen and the effects of the shrinking lung on the heart.

Sudden chest pain: Where the pneumothorax develops, a sudden pain develops in the form of a knife stab. This pain should be distinguished from compressive, overwhelming cardiac pain.

How Is It Treated?

In simple pneumothorax cases, the disease is expected to be repaired by the body while the patient is followed up under the supervision of a doctor. Depending on the amount of air accumulated, the air can be discharged with a syringe and the extinguished lung can be filled with air again.

In more severe and open pneumothorax cases, first of all, the patient's findings 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 thoracic cage and to provide the appropriate conditions for the extinguished lung to be filled with air again.
Surgical methods are applied to directly repair the damage in major lung injuries.

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