A lung injury can occur in many ways. A car accident could cause a harmful blow and a punctured lung. Or lungs can become injured from inhaling harmful chemicals. A lung injury can even occur while being treated in the hospital for an infection or while on a ventilator. If you or someone you love has an injured lung, you may want to understand better how it occurred and what your health care providers are doing to help.
When the muscles of the chest and diaphragm contract they expand the chest, causing the lungs to inflate. Like a balloon, the lungs stretch as they inflate. When you exhale, the muscles relax, and like a balloon that's been released the lungs spring back. But if the air escapes from the lung and into the chest around the lung, the lung can collapse inside the chest. This can occur from the bursting of a weak spot of the lung, either from another medical condition, infection, or cancer. Or it could be caused by a puncture of the lung such as from a fractured rib.