Is a Collapsed Lung Fatal?

Written by diane craig | 13/05/2017

A collapsed lung sounds dangerous, and rightfully so. Anytime you are dealing with a lung injury you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, as delay can be disastrous


A collapsed lung may be caused by a variety of things, from scuba diving to flying to a puncture wound. It may also happen spontaneously, for no apparent reason.


Symptoms of a collapsed lung will usually include shortness of breath, sharp chest pain that will get more intense during coughing, chest tightness and easy fatigue.


A collapsed lung, medically known as a pneumothorax, is not usually fatal, but can be. A small collapse (partial) may heal on its own, however most need medical treatment.


According to the staff at the Mayo Clinic, a collapsed lung occurs when air leaks into the space between your lungs and chest wall, creating pressure against the lung. Depending on the cause, your lung may only partially collapse, or it may collapse completely.


If you have symptoms of a collapsed lung, seek medical attention immediately. Left untreated a collapsed lung can be life-threatening, sometimes quickly, depending on the cause.

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