Pneumothorax which in common terms is also known as a collapsed lung is a potentially serious pathological condition in which air infiltrates between the ribs and the lungs and pushes the lung such that the lung collapses. Pneumothorax is a medical condition that requires emergent medical attention as a delay in treatment may become potentially life threatening for the affected individual.
An individual with Pneumothorax will find it extremely difficult to breathe resulting in reduced supply of oxygen to the vital organs of the body. Normally a Pneumothorax is caused by a penetrating injury to the chest such as during a motor vehicle collision or an act of violence in the form of a stabbing or a gunshot wound to the chest. A fracture of the ribs may also at times cause Pneumothorax.
As stated, Pneumothorax is an emergent medical condition and requires immediate treatment. This article gives a brief overview of some of the treatment options to fix Pneumothorax.
How Do You Fix A Pneumothorax?
The treatment to fix Pneumothorax depends on the underlying cause of the condition and the time that has elapsed between the injury and the start of the treatment. The treatment also depends on how serious the collapsed lung is. In cases of mild Pneumothorax, there is no treatment required and the condition heals itself within a week or so. The excess air that has infiltrated the chest area gets absorbed by the surrounding tissues and the lung goes back into its normal position.
In cases where there has been a major accident resulting in a large Pneumothorax then treatment needs to be given right away to remove the excess air that has infiltrated the chest area and normalize the breathing of the affected individual.
In case if the Pneumothorax is small, then this can be done with a needle and a syringe with immediate relief from the symptoms of Pneumothorax but it may take several days for the individual to breathe normally and independently.
In cases of a large Pneumothorax, then the excess air will be removed by way of tubes for which the patient will have to be sedated using anesthetic. This will allow the lung to fill in air normally. The extra air will get sucked out of the lungs through the chest tube.
In case if the Pneumothorax is big enough to exert pressure on the lungs, then needle, syringe as well as a chest tube will be used to suck out the excess air and allow the individual to breathe normally.
For situations where breathing does not return back to normal then the individual may have to be given mechanical ventilation or external supply of oxygen until the time the individual is able to breathe normally and the lungs return back to their normal functioning after treatment of Pneumothorax.
If the patient requires ventilation for supply of oxygen then he or she will have to stay in the hospital for a few days until normal breathing returns after treatment of Pneumothorax.