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Pneumothorax

This occurs when air gets into the space between the lung and the chest wall, either spontaneously from a small bleb in the lung popping and allowing the air to escape from the lung, or occasionally from trauma when air escapes through the chest wall. This causes “collapse” of the lung. This can often produce breathlessness and sometimes some chest pain. Sometimes it doesn’t cause any symptoms at all. Although it can occur spontaneously and is more common in taller people, it is more common in people with diseases such as COPD, and it is more common in smokers. It is diagnosed usually by a chest x-ray and can sometimes resolve spontaneously. Often the air is aspirated (sucked out with a needle and syringe ) to help recovery, and sometimes a drain is required in hospital to re-expand the lung. Occasionally when the problem is recurrent, surgery is undertaken.

Links:

www.lunguk.org/pneumothorax