Why COPD Patients are at Higher Risk for a Collapsed Lung (Pneumothorax)

Pneumothorax, often known as a collapsed lung, is a disorder marked by gas in the lungs, especially in the pleural region. Pneumothorax is a serious health issue with substantial morbidity and enormous healthcare expenses. If the illness is not appropriately managed and treated, it may be fatal. Understanding the underlying cause of pneumothorax is the best method to carry out a successful solution. Current study focuses on risk factors in order to better understand how to treat and manage the condition (Bintcliffe & Maskell, 2014). While several risk factors can cause the lungs to deteriorate to the point of collapse, some people are more vulnerable, particularly those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


The rapture of a hyperinflated alveolus and subsequent air leakage into surrounding spaces and tissues cause a pneumothorax. The problem demonstrates that major lung disorders that have an impact on the alveoli are risk factors for the condition. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which puts a patient at risk for hyperinflation, is one such ailment. High tidal volumes, high intrinsic PEEP, and high transpulmonary pressure brought on by COPD increase the risk of lung collapse (George Ioannidis et al., 2015). Because inspired air cannot be efficiently expelled from the body under these circumstances, air is trapped in the lungs. The rise in airway pressure brought on by hyperinflation increases airway resistance. High airway resistance and a high inspiratory flow rate prevent air from reaching the alveoli.


Since the high pressure and airwave resistance cause hyperinflation, the condition affects COPD patients. For individuals with COPD in particular, balancing exertion and respiratory capacity can be difficult. Any disruption of this equilibrium could expose the patient to collapsing lungs, which could result in barotrauma. For instance, an infection that causes acute pathology may accelerate the rate at which airways get blocked and result in pneumothorax. The modifications may result in less ventilation, which fuels the hyperinflation’s growth. The circumstances point to a risk of alveolar damage (George Ioannidis et al., 2015). A lung collapses as a result of such injuries.

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