A collapsed lung, or pneumothorax, occurs when air becomes trapped inside the chest cavity, but is not inside the lungs. This can prevent you from drawing a full breath and getting the oxygen that you need. Often, you will need medical attention in order to repair the damage to your tissue and reinflate your lung(s).
While pneumothorax can be the result of a lung weakness or illness, it is often due to chest trauma that rips the delicate tissue of the lungs. This can occur in slips and falls, auto accidents, and even medical procedures like biopsies. If your collapsed lung is the result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact a Sheboygan personal injury attorney from Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today at (920) 459-8000 to learn more about your legal options.
Your lungs are tightly packed in your thoracic cavity along with your heart and a portion of your esophagus. The powerful diaphragm muscle divides the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. To cause lung expansion and inhalation, the diaphragm pulls down into the abdomen, giving the lungs room to expand with air. As the diaphragm relaxes, it forces your lungs to exhale the carbon dioxide.
If your lung tissue tears, the air can escape from your lungs to your thoracic cavity. This pressure does not allow lungs the space to expand, instead causing them to collapse. This is called pneumothorax.
Depending on the extent of your collapsed lung, you may only notice being slightly out-of-breath, or you may be forced to gasp for air. Other signs of pneumothorax include:
After you suffer a collapsed lung, you may experience complications such as an increased risk of recurrence. Additionally, sometimes the hole in the lung does not heal, leading to a continuous air leak. In these cases, you may need surgery to artificially seal your lung.
A collapsed lung is a serious injury, and it should not be taken light. If another person’s negligence caused your pneumothorax, you should discuss your case with an attorney to determine if you are eligible for financial compensation. For more information, contact an experienced Sheboygan personal injury lawyer from Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (920) 459-8000 today.