Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

Comment from: hrtldy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I had a spontaneous pneumothorax diagnosed via a chest x-ray. The symptoms were chronic cough, gasping for breath and malaise. I had, per surgeon"s view, a collapsed lung for over 2.5 months. There was jelly over the lung and trachea had moved over. Chest tube was inserted and I was put in hospital. I then had to have lung surgery to remove the jelly to try and get the lung to re-inflate. Following surgery I got crepitus. I found a black spot, which was cultured and found to be valley fever. Twelve days later lung had not re-inflated, I departed the hospital on 13th day with a mere 20% lung capacity on the right side.

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Comment from: francinescott, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I just came back from the hospital. This description is right on. I had fluid drained, and surgery and had a tube attached to me to release the air. The doctors are not sure how I got the injury. I am currently recovering and will be doing follow-up this week. This is a very traumatic surgery.

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Comment from: Wendy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I am a fit, healthy female of 44 and have never smoked. I woke up with a pain in my right shoulder, a small dry cough and a feeling as though I"d got air caught in my throat. I thought I"d pulled a muscle. I went to work. During the day it got worse and I struggled to breathe (I thought because it was hurting the pulled muscle). I made an appointment with the emergency nurse at lunchtime for after school and carried on, in a lot of pain. When I went to see the nurse she checked all my signs, and they were good. I was asked to lie on a bed and couldn"t, it was so painful. She asked a doctor to see me, he checked and said he"d send me to hospital to make sure it wasn"t anything serious. The doctor took blood then disappeared. I told my husband that I felt sick and then suggested he get someone. Everything was a blur after that. They had to bring the crash cart in! Anyway, I had a pneumothorax and a hemothorax and they didn"t understand why. I had two chest drains, a blood transfusion, 11 X-rays, 2 CT scans, hourly checks, lots of drugs especially when I came out in a huge rash, transferred to a specialist hospital and all in all was in hospital for 2 weeks and 2 days. I would not want anyone to go through the pain when they insert a drain! After the second one they thought they might have to put another in, I told them they would be putting me to sleep for that one! I am recovering at home now but it"s difficult to know what you can do or can"t. I feel about 112 years old and need to sleep after I do anything. They think it might have been caused by a cyst that burst and caused a collapse of top 2/3 of lung and caused a bleed in the pleura. This means it could happen again. Scary thought really!

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Comment from: notjonny, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I am 34 and get small pneumothorax on almost a daily basis. When I was young I would get them much less often, but they were more severe than I get now. My doctor when I was young said it wasn't a big deal and never did anything about it, not even an x-ray. He just said it's painful but not dangerous. In my early 20s I took a lot of Vioxx, and at that time I was getting a lot of medium sized pneumothorax. Very painful, made it hard to breathe. Vioxx was pulled from the shelves because it was giving people heart attacks, and I stopped taking pain pills. I also found out that NSAIDs can cause pneumothorax, so now I don't take any Advil or aspirin or prescribed NSAIDs. I think the large amount of Vioxx made my lungs much more susceptible to the pneumothorax, which is why I get very small ones all the time now. If you get small ones, the best way for it to go away is to just relax. If your breathing is reduced, take in a breath as big as possible and hold it for 30 seconds. Keep doing that a bunch of times and it should increase the amount of air you can take in. I am a 34 year old female with asthma and connective tissue disorder (Ehlers–Danlos syndrome).

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Comment from: Whitedove, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I got up to go to work and was short of breath, went to work and when I bent over I could not breath at all. My work called the squad, no pain just couldn"t breathe. I had chest tube, then they took out the tube. But my lung lost air again and I was put back on tube; six days later went home. Four years later I had the same thing happening, this time lung would not keep air, so the doctors went in and super glued my lung to my ribs and stapled the holes in my lung. Twelve days later I went home and had to quit work. The bottom of my lung was so full of holes I lost the half of it. I had no pain at the time it happened, but I stay in pain now from the scars.

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Pneumothorax - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your pneumothorax?
Pneumothorax - Treatment Question: Were you hospitalized for your pneumothorax? What types of treatment did you receive, including medication?

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