Punctured Lung Symptoms

Updated April 17, 2017

A punctured lung, or pneumothorax in medical terms, is a condition in which the lung or part of it collapses. This can occur as a result on a build-up of air or gas in the chest cavity or as the result of a traumatic injury such as a fall or car accident. Some medical procedures can also cause a punctured lung. Most punctured lungs will require medical treatment, usually in the form of a tube or needle inserted through the chest wall, to allow to lung to expand and heal.

Chest Pain

Dull or sharp chest pain is sometimes present in someone with a punctured lung.

Breathing Trouble

Because a punctured lung limits lung function and capacity, shortness of breath or rapid breathing are sometimes signs of a punctured lung.


A sudden, dry cough can be a signal of a collapsed lung.

Turning Blue

Because of the difficulty breathing, some people may get cyanotic--the medical term for turning blue--in the event of punctured lung.

Weakened Pulse

A weakened pulse is sometimes experienced by people with a punctured lung.

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About the Author

Anna Aronson began working as a journalist in 2000 and spent six years at suburban Chicago newspapers before pursuing freelance work. She enjoys writing about health care topics, in particular obstetrics, pediatrics and nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and is now studying for a Master of Science in medicine degree to become a physician's assistant.