Chest drainage for collapsed lung or collapsed lung

An accident or heavy coughing (smoker’s cough) can lead to a collapsed lung. This condition causes an unpleasant twinge in the chest and can be confused with a mild myocardial infarction. It is always reason for further medical examination to rule out an infarction. What causes a collapsed lung, what symptoms does it cause and how is chest drainage applied?

Chest drainage

  • Properties of collapsed lung
  • Size determined by vacuum condition
  • Causes of collapsed lung
  • Treatment by chest drainage


Properties of collapsed lung

The condition causes mild to sometimes severe pain in the sternum, with the pain radiating to surrounding tissue. Think of the back, shoulders or stomach. It is sometimes confused with the symptoms of a heart attack, but that is not the case. This will often result in a painful left upper arm and a rapid decline in good functioning. With the condition, attention should also be paid to which side it applies. If it is concentrated on the right side, it is certainly an indication of collapsed lung. What could be the causes of the condition and why does it collapse?

Size determined by vacuum condition

The lungs are located in the body cavity also called the chest thorax. There is a membrane against the outer wall of the lung and there is also a membrane around the lung. Because there is no air pressure between these membranes, the lung has access to the entire space. In other words, there is optimal functioning for maximum lung capacity. However, if there is a hole in one of the membranes, air can get between the membranes, creating back pressure for the lungs. It means that lung capacity is lost, making it smaller. Breathing will be considerably limited and dry coughing may occur.

Causes of collapsed lung

A cavity can be caused by a traffic accident, for example because a broken rib has created a leak or extreme exhalation. On the other hand, it can be caused for no reason. It mainly occurs in smokers up to the age of forty or in older patients with weakened lungs. Those with a history of lung problems are also more likely to develop the condition. Heavy and prolonged coughing that may require coughing up mucus from within can cause instability in the membrane, causing a tear. In most cases the leakage is at the top of the lungs.

Treatment by chest drainage

If there is a limited collapsed lung, the inconvenience will be limited. The doctor can assess the situation based on the complaints and decide not to do anything. It can recover on its own. However, if there is a significant collapsed lung, breathing problems will be severe and there may be a lot of radiating pain. It is necessary to install a drain to ventilate the space between the membranes. This again gives the lungs sufficient space to function properly. Because there is a leak in a membrane and access through a drain has been forced, the person must get sufficient rest. Both holes need to heal. Please note that you can only go home when the shape of the lung completely matches the shape of the thoracic cavity. Once you have had the condition, there is again an increased risk of recurrence. Particularly in the first period after recovery, one should take it easy by avoiding heavy exertion and not encountering pressure differences (flying).
Always follow the advice of the treating physician to prevent recurrence as much as possible.

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