New York residents may be familiar with a condition called pneumothorax, also known as a collapsed lung. This condition happens when air, which usually circulates inside the lungs, leaks and becomes trapped in the pleural space around the lungs. As this air builds up, it puts pressure on the lungs and causes them to collapse. Typically, however, it only causes a part of the lung to collapse.
A collapsed lung can occur because of lung damage, air blisters in the lung or trauma to the chest. It can even happen after vigorous cardiopulmonary resuscitation, endoscopy procedures or a lung biopsy. Some people suffer a collapsed lung because of damage to their lung tissue from infections and diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and lung cancer.
Those with a collapsed lung can experience sharp chest pain and shortness of breath. Symptoms of a more severe lung collapse include a tight feeling in the chest, bluish skin tone, a rapid heartbeat, fatigue and low blood pressure. Severe cases of a lung collapse can lead to cardiac arrest, shock, respiratory failure and low blood oxygen levels. Anyone who suffers a lung collapse, even if symptoms are mild, should seek emergency medical treatment right away because this condition can be life-threatening.
Treatment is generally not needed for small or mild cases of collapsed lung. For more serious cases, a physician can remove the air and may perform surgery if necessary.
Those with health conditions hampered by negligent medical treatment might want to pursue compensation for their losses. Since these types of legal cases are complicated, victims might want to retain an attorney for direction.