Pneumothorax Research Paper

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ABSTRACT A pneumothorax is a life threatening disease that results in a restrictive lung disorder. This condition is associated with atelectasis, chest wall expansion, and a decrease in cardiac venous return. Often caused by smoking, a pneumothorax can be detected from pulmonary function testings, arterial blood gas interpretations, and chest radiological findings. While some mild cases can resolve on their own, there is a current treatment process and protocols for managing symptoms brought with the disease. When a pneumothorax is detected, immediate action must be taken as death can occur. In addition, reoccurrence of the disease is highly common. INTRODUCTION This paper describes a pneumothorax and gives a look into how a pneumothorax…show more content…
Two forms of the disease include tension pneumothorax and spontaneous pneumothorax. A tension pneumothorax can be identified with the intrapleural pressure exceeding the atmospheric pressure. A spontaneous pneumothorax occurs suddenly and without any warning signs or symptoms and often happens secondary to a disease. Both forms of the disease can be either open, when gas can move in and out of the pleural cavity, or closed, when gas can enter during inspiration but cannot leave during…show more content…
Increased pressure also causes the mediastinum to move and negatively affect the venous return to the right atrium1. The hypoxia and impaired venous return leads to cardiac disfunction which can include systemic hypotension. A pneumothorax will cause a progressive decrease in respiratory and cardiac function if not treated. A spontaneous pneumothorax results in a decrease in vital capacity and PaO21. The reduction in the ventilation-perfusion ratio results in alveolar hypoventilation, causing the reduction in PaO2. Decrease in PaO2 can also be explained with an anatomic shunt1. DIAGNOSIS PFTs in pneumothorax patients will result in decreases in VT, IRV, ERV, RV, VC, IC, FRC, and TLC1. ABGs for a mild to moderate pneumothorax have an increased pH and a decreased PaCo2, HCO3-, PaO2, and SpO2. For a severe pneumothorax, ABGs have a decreased pH, PaO2, and SpO2 and an increased PaCo2 and HCO3-.1 Chest radiologic findings include translucent lung fields on the pneumothorax side, a mediastinal shift to the unaffected side, a depressed diaphragm, lung collapse, and atelectasis4.

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