12 doctors weighed in:
Is a collapsed lung really bad, and can you die from one?
12 doctors weighed in

Dr. Amir Khan
Sports Medicine
6 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
A collapsed lung is an emergency and can be life threatening.
It should be addressed immediately in the emergency room. If you suspect a collapsed lung call 911. Sometimes small "collapses" of the lung can be minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic.

In brief: Yes
A collapsed lung is an emergency and can be life threatening.
It should be addressed immediately in the emergency room. If you suspect a collapsed lung call 911. Sometimes small "collapses" of the lung can be minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic.
Dr. Amir Khan
Dr. Amir Khan
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Dr. Eric L. Weiss
Travel Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: Can be, and yes
However a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) can also be relatively mild needing only close monitoring (chest xray) or peraps needle/valve drainage.
Occassionaly minor surgery is needed.

In brief: Can be, and yes
However a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) can also be relatively mild needing only close monitoring (chest xray) or peraps needle/valve drainage.
Occassionaly minor surgery is needed.
Dr. Eric L. Weiss
Dr. Eric L. Weiss
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Dr. Loki Skylizard
Surgery - Thoracic
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes
Sometimes, if the pneumothorax creates enough pressure, it can compress the right side of the heart.
This can decreases the blood return to the heart. Without adequate blood return, your heart does not have enough blood to pump out to your body. This is potentially rapidly fatal.

In brief: Yes
Sometimes, if the pneumothorax creates enough pressure, it can compress the right side of the heart.
This can decreases the blood return to the heart. Without adequate blood return, your heart does not have enough blood to pump out to your body. This is potentially rapidly fatal.
Dr. Loki Skylizard
Dr. Loki Skylizard
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Dr. Cassandra Lee
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Cassandra Lee
Dr. Cassandra Lee
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