Pneumothorax is a condition of the Lungs when there is an excess amount of air invades the pleural space.

Can be divided into two primary types: Spontaneous (without trauma) or Traumatic.

Pneumothorax is a synonym for a condition more commonly known as a Collapsed Lung.

Can be an emergent condition and medical attention may be required immediately.

Often an X-ray or CT scan is required for Diagnosis

Spontaneous can be divided into Primary and Secondary

 

Types:

1.)  Primary is when it occurs with no underlying lung condition

2.)  Secondary is the result of an underlying lung condition

3.)  Traumatic is a result of trauma to lung tissue or a blunt trauma into lung

4.)  Iatrogenic is a result of procedures near the lungs such as a biopsy [or other]
resulting in a collapse

5.) Tension is a medical emergency

 

Primary pneumothorax is typically seen in a tall, thin young men between the ages of 10 and 30.

It is also seen in those who have Marfan syndrome.

Family history and smoking may be related.

 

Secondary causes

 

Symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain with breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Hypoxia  –  loss of oxygen
  • A penetrating chest wound
  • Difficulty to talk
  • Cyanosis  [turning blue]

 

Treatment

Depends on the severity of the pneumothorax

  • Some small pneumothorax require no treatment
  • Oxygen is essential
  • Chest tube placement
  • Pleurodesis  –  chemical placement that causes irritation
  • Talc may be used
  • Cessation of smoking
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Open Thoracotomy

1/3 of those having pneumothorax will have a reoccurring episode

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