Car accidents can cause collapsed lungs, a potentially fatal condition if left untreated. At the Law Offices of Tim Misny, we always advise clients to seek medical treatment immediately, and closely monitor their condition—including when a collapsed lung is a possibility. This condition may require additional medical treatment, including surgery.

Here’s why you should take the possibility of a collapsed lung seriously.

What is a collapsed lung?

A collapsed lung, also known as pneumothorax, happens when air gets into the chest cavity and creates pressure on the lung. There are several different diseases and conditions that can cause this phenomenon, but collapsed lungs from car accidents usually result from blunt force trauma. The torso may hit the steering column, dashboard or doors, causing internal injury. Sometimes, fractured ribs or objects can puncture the lung, causing the lung to collapse.

Symptoms of a collapsed lung

Collapsed lungs may not be immediately obvious. Many people walk away from car accidents feeling fine, only to discover that the adrenaline has numbed the pain and masked injuries. That’s why it’s so important to go to the emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible. Doctors may be able to identify internal injuries before they start causing additional problems.

Collapsed lung symptoms include chest pain on only one side, especially when taking a breath. You may experience elevated breathing and heart rate, a cough, fatigue, shortness or breath. Your skin may appear blue, from lack of oxygen in the bloodstream.

If you notice any of these symptoms after a car accident, go to the emergency department immediately. This injury can be fatal without medical care.

Treatment for collapsed lungs

In some cases, patients may simply remain under observation, and follow up with their regular medical provider to monitor for heart or lung problems. They may be put on supplemental oxygen until the problem is resolved.

For more serious cases, the doctor may remove the air from the chest cavity by aspiration or chest tube. Some severe cases require surgery, especially when concurrent with other traumatic injuries or when the lung hasn’t responded to other treatments.

The more severe your collapsed lung, the higher the medical expenses. Call the Law Offices of Tim Misny to review your legal options. You may be eligible for compensation from the negligent driver, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and the cost of future treatment.

Call a Columbus accident lawyer today

The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your car accident case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.