My 15 year old cross country runner experienced a 25% lung collapse this past week. At this time, repeated x-rays have shown no improvement. He has not had a tube placed. He is having a CT scan Monday and we meet with the doctor on Wednesday. That will be day 9 after the initial collapse (we didn't realize what had happened...he had some shortness of breath and a sore back.) At that time, the doctor said, they would consider a tube if no improvement had occurred. the CT scan is thought to help determine if this will happen again.
Please advise: just how common is this? how dangerous is it for him to run competitively after having this episode? I know the answers can't be 100% but is he riskinig his health/life if he tries to run competitively again?
A partially collapsed lung is often treated conservatively, however if the symptoms get worse do not hesitate to go IMMEDIATELY to an emergency room. Your son has been very lucky and you should ensure he follows his rehabilition instructions precisely. Until the lung has healed he is in life-threatening danger. All activites should revolve around his doctor's instructions. As for the question of dangerous if he continues to run I asked several specialists and got contradictory answers. I don't have an opinion, but it would seem prudent to restrict activities for at least a year.
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