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What're the symptoms of pneumothorax?

Symptoms of a pneumothorax vary greatly depending on how much air enters the pleural space, how much of the lung

collapses, and the person's lung function before the pneumothorax occurred. Sudden shortness of breath and cyanosis (turning blue) are the main symptoms. In penetrating chest wounds, the sound of air flowing through the punction hole may indicate pneumothorax. The flopping sound of the punctured lung is occasionally heard. If untreated, the hypoxia will lead to loss of consciousness and coma. In addition, shifting of the mediastinum towards the site of the injury can obstruct the aorta and other large blood vessels, depriving distal tissues of blood. Untreated, a severe pneumothorax can lead to death within several minutes. Spontaneous pneumothoraces are reported in young people with a tall stature. As men are generally taller than women, there is a preponderance among males. The reason for this association, while unknown, is supposed to be the presence of subtle abnormalities in connective tissue. Pneumothorax can also occur as part of medical procedures, such as the insertion of a central line (an intravenous catheter) in the subclavian vein. While rare, it is considered a serious complication and needs immediate treatment. Other causes include mechanical ventilation, emphysema and rarely other lung diseases (pneumonia).

More information on pneumothorax

What is a pneumothorax? - A pneumothorax is collection of air or gas in the pleural space (the space surrounding the lungs). Pneumothorax is commonly called collapsed lung.
What causes a pneumothorax? - Pneumothorax is usually caused by an injury to the chest, such as a broken rib or puncture wound. Spontaneous pneumothorax can result from damage to the lungs.
What're the symptoms of pneumothorax? - Symptoms of a pneumothorax vary greatly depending on how much air enters the pleural space, how much of the lung collapses.
How is pneumothorax diagnosed? - The history and physical examination can sometimes make the diagnosis of pneumothorax. A physical examination can confirm the diagnosis.
What's the treatment for a pneumothorax? - The objective of treatment for pneumothorax is to remove the air from the pleural space, allowing the lung to re-expand.
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