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A 36-year-old member asked:

can you die from a collapsed lung?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tracy Berg
General Surgery 32 years experience
Tension pneumothorax: You can die from collapsed lung, as it progresses quickly to a tension pneumothorax. Eventually, the pressure will collapse your other lung and vessels. Untreated, death will occur. First responders, emt and trauma providers are trained to recognize and release the pressure associated with a collapsed lung, to prevent tension pneumothorax.
Dr. Loki Skylizard
Thoracic Surgery 20 years experience
Yes: If the pneumothorax creates enough pressure, it can compress the heart. This can result in pressure on the right side, where blood returns to the heart. This decreases the blood return to the heart. Without adequate blood return, your heart does not have enough blood to pump out to your body. Emts will release the pressure or "tension".

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A 42-year-old member asked:

Can a normal, healthy person die from a spontaneous collapsed lung before making it to the e.R.?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carin Van Gelder
Emergency Medicine 25 years experience
Usually NOT: Healthy people with a spontaneous pneumothorax usually tolerate it very well. Everything's possible, but a spontaneous pneumothorax doesn't tend to progress to a tension pneumothorax (which causes cardiovascular compromise quickly).
A 42-year-old member asked:

Is a collapsed lung really bad, and can you die from one?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cassandra Lee
Orthopedic Surgery 20 years experience
Depends: A collapsed lung is called a "pneumothorax." sometimes this may occur spontaneously, but often it is a result of trauma. When too much pressure builds on the side of the collapsed lung, this can shift to the other side of your chest and inhibit blood flow to your heart and breathing, called "tension pneumothorax" that is an immediate threat to your life.
A 38-year-old member asked:

Is a sudden collapsed lung bad and can you die from it?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sunil Mehra
Pulmonology 44 years experience
Possible: Can be life threateningtension pneumothorax is life threatening emergency if not treated fast and.
A 42-year-old member asked:

Can it be possible for you to die of a collapsed lung?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Yes....: A collapsed lung, or pneumothorax, occurs when air leaks into the space surrounding the lung, between the lung and chest wall. If enough air acummulates in this space, there can be enough pressure to push vital structures, including the heart, to the opposite side of the chest. This tension pneumothorax can lead to cardiac arrest which can result in death if not immediately treated/resuscitated.

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Last updated Mar 6, 2019

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