Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

Comment from: chipUSMC, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: November 29

I was recently unfortunately able to experience a pneumothorax. I fell down some stairs, fracturing three ribs and collapsing my lung. When I got to the hospital, the lung was 20% collapsed. By the time I was seen, it had gotten to 75% collapsed. A chest tube was placed. A couple days later, I was released and went home. I had many problems in the days to come. The Percocet wasn't enough to treat the pain. After going to the hospital a number of times, I was finally put on Dilaudid.

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Comment from: Genie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

The symptom that I had when I experienced a spontaneous pneumothorax was a sharp back pain in my upper right back. Though initially it was extremely painful, which led me to the emergency room, the pain abated. That almost caused me to leave the hospital without being checked. By the time the triage nurse got to me, my right lung was completely collapsed and the left lung had only 35% capacity. I think it is important to mention that a symptom could be back pain as well.

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Comment from: Jeff O, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 30

Recently, I was diagnosed and treated for a spontaneous pneumothorax. While the chest tube was in place (very painful), I was as active as I could be. I went walking as often as I could. What I felt happened and made my condition worse was that I felt the pain increase as if the tube was rubbing against the inner wall of my chest. My advice is to stay still, and let the chest tube do its thing.

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Comment from: Roz, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I have had 4 kids, so I have a high pain tolerance, but the pain I went through caused by pneumothorax was a pain I hope that I never have to go through again.

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Comment from: Jack, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for sleep apnea. I awoke recently about 2am with pain in my chest and coughing. I was diagnosed with a collapsed lung (pneumothorax).

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Comment from: tom tom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I began having chest pains and difficulty breathing. I was taken into hospital and had a tube put in within 10 minutes of me arriving, and remained in for 48 hours. Doctors did a chest X-ray and told me my lung was fully inflated. Six hours later after my X-ray I suddenly felt i was gasping for air again. I had another chest X-ray, and to my surprise I was told my lung had collapsed again. Once again, I had to go through that horribly painful procedure of having the tube put back in to inflate my lung again. This time they kept it in for three days and once again, all seemed fine. About an hour after another X-ray the doctors came and told me that it was collapsing once again. I'm waiting on a specialist at the moment to see if he is prepared to do a operation on my lung.

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Comment from: JC23, 45-54 Male Published: June 12

Ruined my life. The hospital I ended up at made several critical errors causing extreme nerve damage. I now take narcotics everyday and they don't work much of the time. Before this i would not even take a tylenol. I have tried everything to try to eradicate this pain to no end. That seems to be when the pain will stop as it has driven me crazy .Aside from that being told by my Doctor, who I had to fight for pain killers from just to function. Last option is an injection which can cause....you guessed it, another pneumothorax. I would not be able to handle that.

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Comment from: tydee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

I was told I had pneumothorax after going to the emergency room one day. I went to see a doctor in April 2012 and told him I was having chest pain on my left side. He advised that it could be a muscle strain and gave me ibuprofen and sent me on my way. Two months later in June, the pains got worse and it started shooting down my left arm and I was short of breath walking up stairs. I went to the emergency room and they told me I had a spontaneous pneumothorax. They gave me oxygen and hydrocodone and sent me on my way. Since then, I have been having chest pain here and there, still have shortness of breath, and still have a rapid heart rate. Even when I stand for a long time my left shoulder starts to hurt (weird, I know). This didn't happen before and doctors can't explain what it is. I went to check on these symptoms again and the doctor says I am OK. I worry about it happening again.

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Patient Comments

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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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