Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

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What are the types of pneumothorax?

A spontaneous pneumothorax, also referred to as a primary pneumothorax, occurs in the absence of a traumatic injury to the chest or a known lung disease. A secondary (also termed complicated) pneumothorax occurs as a result of an underlying condition.

Picture of Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)
Picture of Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)
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Comment from: sue, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 15

I first suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax at 17 years of age. I had hospital rest at the time. In years to follow I had 4 more attacks; by this time I was a mother to 6 children. It happened again just before taking my children to school one morning. I knew what was happening but trying to stay calm I took my kids to the bus stop but asked one of my children to stay home, explaining I did not feel well. Arriving back home I asked my daughter to call 000. A tube was inserted under my arm pit area to relieve pressure on the lung and pleural wall, and an emergency operation followed, and I spent 7 days in ICU. I had cysts on the top of my lung and they were removed. That was 11 years ago now, and today my 20 year old son has developed the same problem. I am heartbroken to think of what he has to go through.

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Comment from: kittyb, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I was a healthy 23 year old woman when I suffered from a spontaneous hemopneumothorax in June 2014. The pain was strange and felt like a pulled back muscle at first, and throughout the course of 12 hours it got worse until I could no longer breathe and had to be carried into the emergency room (ER). Initial x-rays showed fluid in my lungs that was minor but for some reason I flat lined on the table and everything went white. When I came to, I felt so sick and cold. The ER doctor ordered the chest tube and he put it in immediately after minor sedation (I was awake, as I believe most people are, when it was inserted which was the craziest experience of my life). For some reason, I drained almost 2 liters of blood from my lung cavity which was never explained. Since I suffered no trauma, and they didn't find any cancer my diagnosis was the very rare thoracic endometriosis. I wasn't convinced, I went and saw about 6 other doctors, pulmonologists, cardiologist, gynecologists, everyone. My symptoms just don't add up. I was scheduled for the pleurodesis, but cancelled after never really receiving a firm diagnosis (and my scheduled surgeon being in the paper for botching numerous surgeries and being under investigation). So yesterday I started having that same pulled muscle feeling out of nowhere, and I was sure it was happening again (about 16 months later). I kind of panicked, but waited for it to subside. When it didn't I went to the walk in and had a chest x-ray, but everything was normal. I'm still coughing, and I can still feel the pain in the side/back and in my shoulders, etc. I've been having hot flashes and have recently stopped taking birth control and have not had a menstrual cycle in over a month which is not normal for me (not pregnant, was also tested for that last night). I'm afraid that this is the calm before the storm, and the fact that I haven't had a period in a long time may be triggering something. I wish there were more answers out there, it seems more people than expected suffer from these.

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