Dangers Of A Punctured Lung: Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Punctured lung is a serious ailment of the lungs which is generally due to some accidental and traumatic injury.

The lung gets punctured if any sharp object gets penetrated into the chest cavity in human body. The accidental injury can happen,
•    Pointed & sharp knife,
•    Bullet fire,
•    Rib fractures in road accidents

Appropriate medical terminology of the condition is known as pneumothorax or in simpler term collapsed lung. The word pneumothorax is a combination of two Greek terms, pneumo-meaning air and thorax meaning chest.

Punctured lung, as the name suggests is quite distinguished from other lung injuries which can be caused by,
•    Inhaling harmful chemicals
•    During treatment for an infection or while on a ventilator in a hospital
Apart from the direct causes, indirect causes such as fat embolism, drug overdose, and severe burns which also injure lungs.

A lung injury can develop into two life threatening conditions viz., collapsed lung or can develop into acute respiratory distress syndrome.

In the condition of punctured lung, air gets accumulated between the lungs and the chest cavity, also known as pleural space. Because of excessive air pressure the lungs are unable to expand which leads to difficulty while breathing, pain the in chest, etc. Breathing becomes shallow. Breathing difficulty causes low oxygen saturation and the vital organs get little supply of much needed oxygen.

The assessment of punctured lungs is treated by measuring size and depth of the wound and responses of the lungs to it.

Vital Signs

•    Acute pain in the chest near  injury
•    Increase in Pain during inhaling
•    Breathing problems and Shallow breathing
•    Collection of air in areas around the lungs whether in chest cavity or in pleural space
•    Llow oxygen saturation
•    Vital organs receive poor supply of oxygen

•    The condition of being cyanosed occur in which lips, tongue and nails show blue
•    Fatigue, dizzy and headache happens
•    Blood is expelled in cough
•    Abnormal pulse and heart beat due to lack of supply of oxygen to the heart
•    The injured ruptured site is open there remains possibility of getting infection in areas of pleural space and if no treatment is instantly available quickly, that can ultimately lead to a potential life threatening ailment, septicemia

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