When involved in a car accident, you may find yourself suffering from a punctured lung. Due to the nature of a punctured lung, the condition can cause the lung to collapse. As a result, it can result in the following symptoms:
- Blue skin caused by a lack of oxygen
- Decreased sounds of breath due to improper expansion of the lung
- Increased heart rate due to lower oxygen levels
- Lightheadedness due to decreased oxygen levels
- Sharp chest pain caused by irritation to the tissue lining the lung
- Shortness of breath due to the lung’s inability to fully expand
- Shoulder pain, typically radiating to the shoulder and back and made worse by coughing
A punctured lung may occur during a car accident when air collects in the pleural space outside of the lung. If the air has nowhere else to go, it puts pressure on the lung and prevents the proper expansion of the lung. This, in turn, can cause part of the lung to collapse. In some cases, it may only be a small area that is affected.
The type of treatment used to address a punctured lung depends upon the severity of the condition. If only a small part of the lung has collapsed, treatment may not be needed. Over time, the excess air within the lung will be reabsorbed and the lung will re-expand on its on. In this case, the lung will require monitoring in order to measure progress. Supplemental oxygen may also be needed for those who experience decreased oxygen levels. In more severe cases, treatment will involve lessening the pressure so the lung can re-expand.
To learn more about treatment following a car accident, contact Advanced Spine & Rehab today. We will be happy to help you explore your treatment options.