Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)

  • Medical Author:
    George Schiffman, MD, FCCP

    Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Understanding COPD

Who is at risk for pneumothorax?

Spontaneous pneumothorax is more common in men. Smoking has been shown to increase the risk for spontaneous pneumothorax.

What is tension pneumothorax?

In some instances, the lung continues to leak air into the chest cavity and results in compression of the chest structures, including vessels that return blood to the heart. This is referred to as a tension pneumothorax and can be fatal if not treated immediately.

What are the signs and symptoms of pneumothorax?

Symptoms of a pneumothorax include

The skin may develop a bluish color (termed cyanosis) due to decreases in blood oxygen levels.

How is pneumothorax diagnosed?

Examination of the chest with a stethoscope reveals decreased or absent breath sounds over the affected lung. The diagnosis is confirmed by chest X-ray.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2016

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