Doctor insights on:
What Happens If Your Lung Collapses
Must re-expand it: Depending on the reason and the symptoms, but the first thing is to re-expand the lung, usually by incerting a small tube into the chest cavity. It is not good to have a collapsed lung and can even be life threatening. It is important to determine tha cause of the collapse and treat it. Sometimes the cause can not be determined. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more
Pneumothorax: When a lung collapses, air leaks out of it into the chest cavity. When this happens, the air can't usually get back into the lung, so each time you breathe in, more air leaks into the cavity and the lung gets smaller and the air pocket gets bigger. Less gas exchange can take place because part of the lung is not inflated anymore. To fix this, doctors remove the air and the lung re-inflates. ...Read more
Varies...: Most commonly it is from either trauma that can result in increased pressures in the chest or rib fractures that tear the lung. The other common source is bleb or bullous disease of the lung. Imagine an overinflated balloon ready to pop. Something causes it to have increased pressure and air then leaks out to cause the lung to collapse. Other reasons can include cancer and bad emphysema. ...Read more
Could be dangerous: If there is a pneumothorax and it is large or you are having symptoms, that can be a medical emergency. If there is "atelectasis, " meaning the lung is full of mucus or being compressed, then that is typically not an emergency. Both of these conditions can be referred to as lung collapse. To answer further, more information is needed. ...Read more
Loss of (-) pressure: A collapsed/punctured lung is serious, as it can progress to tension pneumothorax. Once recognized, a chest tube is placed to release the pressure associated with collapsed lung. Any injury that allows positive pressure from the airways or externally into the negative pressured pleural space will start the lung collapsing. Trauma, needle sticks, rib fx, fluid, spontaneous are common causes. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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