A pneumothorax is defined as air in the pleural space which can cause complete or partial lung collapse. Remember that the pleural space is normally under negative pressure, which helps keep the lungs expanded. When air gets into this area, the pressure is no longer negative and so the lung might collapse. Generally, we think of a pneumothorax in the context of trauma to the chest wall, like a gunshot, stab wound, or broken rib, however, there are several different causes for pneumothorax:

This video may help to visualize a tension pneumothorax: https://books.byui.edu/-kcMv

This content is provided to you freely by BYU-I Books.

Access it online or download it at https://books.byui.edu/bio_381_pathophysiol/912__pneumothorax.