How is pneumothorax different from tension pneumothorax?

Pneumothorax is when air collects in between the parietal and viscera pleurae resulting in lung collapse. It can happen secondary to trauma (traumatic pneumothorax). When mediastinal shifts accompany it, it is called a tension pneumothorax. This is a life-threatening emergency that needs urgent management.

What is the difference between hemothorax and pneumothorax?

Pneumothorax, which is also known as a collapsed lung, happens when there is air outside the lung, in the space between the lung and the chest cavity. Hemothorax occurs when there is blood in that same space.

What are the two types of pneumothorax?

What are the different types of collapsed lung?

  • Primary spontaneous pneumothorax: Collapsed lung sometimes happens in people who don’t have other lung problems.
  • Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax: Several lung diseases may cause a collapsed lung.
  • Injury-related pneumothorax: Injury to the chest can cause collapsed lung.

How is tension pneumothorax treated?

Treatment of tension pneumothorax is immediate needle decompression by inserting a large-bore (eg, 14- or 16-gauge) needle into the 2nd intercostal space in the midclavicular line. Air will usually gush out.

What can you not do after pneumothorax?

Safety precautions:

  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can increase your risk for another pneumothorax.
  • Do not dive under water or climb to high altitudes.
  • Do not fly until your provider says it is okay.
  • Do not play sports until your provider says it is okay.

How is pneumothorax and hemothorax treated?

Hemothorax often occurs with pneumothorax, which is excess air in the pleural cavity. Symptoms include chest pain and a rapid heart rate. Treatment involves placing a catheter through the ribs to drain the blood and remove air.

What are the signs and symptoms of a hemothorax?


  • Shortness of breath.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.
  • Chest pain.
  • Low blood pressure (shock)
  • Pale, cool and clammy skin.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Restlessness.
  • Anxiety.

Can pneumothorax be cured?

On some occasions, a collapsed lung can be a life-threatening event. Treatment for a pneumothorax usually involves inserting a needle or chest tube between the ribs to remove the excess air. However, a small pneumothorax may heal on its own.

How do you sleep with pneumothorax?

Get plenty of rest and sleep. You may feel weak and tired for a while, but your energy level will improve with time. Hold a pillow against your chest when you cough or take deep breaths. This will support your chest and decrease your pain.

Is tension pneumothorax an emergency?

A tension pneumothorax is a life-threatening situation. It may present with either a closed or open chest injury. The medical provider needs to be keenly aware that there is a high probability of a tension pneumothorax if the patient has an open trauma to the chest wall.

What are the signs and symptoms of a tension pneumothorax?

Tension pneumothorax occurs when air accumulates between the chest wall and the lung and increases pressure in the chest, reducing the amount of blood returned to the heart. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and a racing heart, followed by shock.

Does pneumothorax go away?