Causes of Pneumothorax


Pneumothorax can be caused by a chest injury, underlying lung disease or ruptured air blisters (blebs). Pneumothorax also can occur for no obvious reason.

Chest injuries

Any blunt or penetrating injury to your chest can cause lung collapse. Some injuries may happen during physical assaults or car crashes, while others may inadvertently occur during certain medical procedures.

Examples of cause of Traumatic Pneumothorax:

  • Knife or gunshot wounds
  • Blunt trauma from a blow or car crash
  • Deployment of a vehicle's air bag
  • Fractured ribs, which may puncture the lung
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • The insertion of chest tubes
  • Lung biopsies taken via a needle through the chest wall
  • Procedures using a scope down the throat and into the lung

Underlying lung diseases

Damaged lung tissue is more likely to collapse. Lung damage can be caused by many types of underlying diseases, including:

  • Emphysema
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Ruptured air blisters

Small air blisters (blebs) can develop on the top of the lung. It's uncertain why these blebs appear on some people's lungs and not others, but they occur more often on the lungs of people who are tall and thin. Blebs themselves do not constitute a disease of the lungs. While most blebs rupture for no apparent reason, they can rupture from changes in air pressure during:

  • Scuba diving
  • Flying
  • Mountain climbing at high altitudes
  • Mechanical ventilation


Patient Information Series Pneumothorax

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What is Pneumothorax

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Symptoms of Pneumothorax

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Pneumothorax Treatment Options

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Pneumothorax Surgical Treatment

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Life After Pneumothorax Sugery



Symptoms of Pneumothorax


A pneumothorax (noo-mo-THOR-acks) is a collapsed lung due to air accumulating inside the chest cavity. Pneumothorax occurs when air leaks into


Chest pain- Sudden, sharp chest pain on the same side as the affected lung. Shortness of breath- This may be mild or severe, depending


Risk factors for pneumothorax


Complications from pneumothorax


Anyone who has had one pneumothorax is at increased risk of another, usually within one to two years of the first episode.


Persistent air leak Air may sometimes continue to leak if the opening in the lung won't close. Surgery may eventually


Treatments and drugs




The purpose of treating a pneumothorax is to relieve the pressure on the lung, by removing the air and hence allowing



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License Number: U.P State Medical Council (India) No. 27637