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What to Do for a Collapsed Lung

In this X-ray, both lungs are collapsed. The arrows point to the outside linings of the lungs. They should be filling the ribcage, but you can see from the black areas (air) that they're not.

In this X-ray, both lungs are collapsed. The arrows point to the outside linings of the lungs. The black areas are air.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I remember one patient in particular, a nurse. I was less than a year out of training. She was working on the floor when I was in the emergency room. She came up to me and said, “I think I have a collapsed lung.” She was holding the side of her chest and obviously in pain but didn’t appear short of breath.

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