A lady within the Netherlands had recovered after a seemingly gentle COVID-19 an infection when, out of the blue, each of her lungs collapsed, in accordance with a brand new report.
The 38-year-old girl went to the emergency room after she skilled shortness of breath and a pointy ache in her chest, in accordance with the report, revealed Jan. 22 in The Journal of Emergency Medicine. She mentioned her signs had began out of the blue that day and gave the impression to be getting worse.
5 weeks earlier, the lady had developed symptoms of COVID-19, together with fever and muscle aches, and had examined constructive for the novel coronavirus. At the moment, she had been in a position to deal with her signs at dwelling with acetaminophen and an inhaler. She had gone by means of an preliminary restoration interval from her sickness, however then her new signs began.
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An X-ray on the ER confirmed she had “bilateral pneumothorax,” that means each of her lungs had collapsed. A collapsed lung (pneumothorax) happens when air leaks from the lung into the house between the lung and the chest wall, which places stress on the lung and prevents it from increasing correctly, in accordance with the National Institutes of Health.
The situation may be brought on by trauma to the chest or by sure underlying lung situations, together with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Sufferers who’re placed on a ventilator are additionally in danger for a collapsed lung as a result of the machine might “over-inflate” the lung, in accordance with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
However the girl’s case was uncommon as a result of she had no threat components for the situation, and she or he hadn’t been hospitalized or placed on a ventilator previous to her lung collapse, the authors mentioned.
Circumstances of collapsed lung in COVID-19 sufferers have been reported earlier than, however largely in hospitalized sufferers. A examine of about 6,500 hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers within the U.Ok., revealed in September 2020 in The European Respiratory Journal, discovered that about 1% of these people skilled pneumothorax. Of the 60 sufferers described within the examine as having a collapsed lung, most had acquired some sort of air flow assist, however one-third had not. Solely 4 sufferers skilled pneumothorax in each lungs.
The authors of the brand new report, from Elisabeth TweeSteden Hospital within the Netherlands, concluded that emergency physicians ought to pay attention to pneumothorax as a attainable “delayed COVID-19 associated complication.”
The reason for the lady’s collapsed lung is not clear. (When medical doctors cannot establish a reason for a collapsed lung, this is called “spontaneous” collapsed lung.) The authors cannot say for certain that COVID-19 prompted the lady’s collapsed lung — the timing might have been coincidental, they mentioned. However provided that the lady had no different threat components for collapsed lung, COVID-19 might have performed a job. For instance, the an infection might have prompted microscopic modifications within the tissue and blood vessels within the lungs that ultimately resulted in pneumothorax, the authors mentioned.
Docs sometimes deal with pneumothorax by inserting a needle-like instrument into the ribs to take away extra air from across the affected person’s lungs, in accordance with the Mayo Clinic. Within the girl’s case, medical doctors used this instrument to take away the air round her proper lung. Her left lung was not handled as a result of solely a small a part of it had collapsed and her medical doctors thought it could seemingly heal by itself. Certainly, 4 weeks later, each of her lungs had expanded again to their regular measurement, and she or he had no different lung problems, the report mentioned.
Initially revealed on Stay Science.