Occasionally, air leaks into the pleural cavity that surrounds the lung. It can cause the lung to collapse or partially collapse and it is difficult for the baby to breathe.

Pneumothorax can occur in both premature and full-term babies as a complication of other forms of respiratory disorder such as PAS, IRDS or MAS.

The symptoms often appear suddenly in the form of a rapidly increasing oxygen demand and laboured breathing.

The treatment is primarily to suck the air out of the pleural cavity by making a hole in the chest wall with a thin needle. If this is not sufficient, the medical staff may need to insert a chest drain, which is a soft tube, into the pleural cavity, which remains in the chest and is connected to a suction machine. The pleura usually heals within 1-2 days and the chest drain is removed.

Text: Kajsa Bohlin Blennow