In a lung collapse, air leaks from the lung into the area between the chest wall and the lung. People in Pennsylvania who suffer from a collapsed lung might experience chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, fatigue, low blood pressure and shortness of breath. A collapsed lung may be mild or serious, but it should always be responded to as though it is a medical emergency because it could be fatal.
A small lung collapse may not require treatment although a doctor will monitor it. The person might be required to rest and may be given oxygen. The collapse might also be monitored through X-rays. For a more serious collapse, it may be necessary to remove air from the lung. This might be done with a needle or syringe or with a chest tube. Surgery might be necessary if an air bleb or an air leak caused the collapse. If a lung collapse is treated in time, it is unlikely to lead to complications later.
A collapsed lung may be caused by a disease or infection, such as lung cancer or pneumonia, or it might be caused by trauma such as a rib fracture or a knife wound. Some medical procedures could result in a collapsed lung including an endoscopy, CPR and a lung biopsy.
If a person does suffer from a collapsed lung as a result of a medical procedure, this might be considered medical malpractice. However, not every case would be medical malpractice from a legal standpoint because there may be cases in which even the most conscientious care would still have resulted in a collapsed lung. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a court would look at whether the patient received a reasonable standard of care and if the medical professional was negligent to determine liability.