Collapsed Lung (cont.)
Collapsed Lung Symptoms
- Sharp, stabbing chest pain that worsens on breathing
or with deep inspiration. This is referred to as "pleuritic" because it comes
from irritation of nerve endings in the pleura (inner lining of the rib wall). Interestingly, the lung tissue itself does not contain pain-sensing nerve endings.
- Pain often radiates to the shoulder and or back.
- A dry, hacking cough may occur because of irritation
of the diaphragm.
- If a tension pneumothorax is present, signs of cardiovascular collapse and shock will occur.
This is immediately life threatening.
- The large veins in the neck may stick out, or the skin may be a bluish color because of lack of oxygen (called cyanosis). The
pulse may be rapid and the blood pressure decreased. The person appears quite anxious and may have difficulty speaking. If untreated for more than several minutes, loss of consciousness, shock, and death occur.
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