Calm the patient and have him breathe into a paper bag. This will cause the
patient to breathe his own exhaled breath (which is high in carbon dioxide). In that
process, the patient will raise the carbon dioxide level in his body. This act is
considered a controversial treatment for hyperventilation syndrome because the
syndrome could have been brought on by another underlying condition such as diabetic
ketoacidosis. The treatment is effective however, and should be considered carefully
making sure that no underlying condition exists prior to using it.
Section II. SPONTANEOUS PNEUMOTHORAX
a. In spontaneous pneumothorax, a weak area in the surface of the lungs will
rupture for no apparent reason, allowing air to leak into the chest cavity. The affected
lung collapses and loses its ability to expand normally. There are all degrees of this
condition, from the patient who is not particularly uncomfortable to the patient who
suffers respiratory distress and must be taken to the hospital.
b. Other causes of pneumothorax include the following.
Perforation of the pleura by erosion through the diaphragm.
(2) An abscess or emphysema during the course of a pulmonary disease,
such as tuberculosis.
Rupture of a bleb (a large weak vessel).
Rapid altitude changes; for example, a parachute drop.
Signs and symptoms include the following:
a. Dry, hacking cough.
b. Sudden sharp chest pain or vague chest discomfort.
c. Dyspnea (labored or difficult breathing).