ENTERTAINMENT

First Aid For Pneumothorax: How Mariska Hargitay Suffered A Collapsed Lung After A Terrifying Fall On The Set Of 'Law & Order'

Date October 25, 2019 12:58

Pneumothorax is the medical term for a collapsed lung. It is an accumulation of air or gases in the pleural cavity. It can occur spontaneously in people without chronic lung diseases, as well as in people with lung diseases, and artificial pneumothorax.

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Causes & Symptoms

Many pneumothoraxes occur after a chest injury or as a complication of treatment.

The size and rate of airflow into the pleural cavity determine symptoms of pneumothorax. These include, in most cases, chest pain and shortness of breath. Some other symptoms may be breaking out in a cold sweat, tightness in the chest, a fast heart rate, and turning blue, or cyanosis.

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Mariska Hargitay's health scare

Mariska Hargitay suffered a partially collapsed lung after a fall on the set of Law & Order back in December 2008. She underwent some successful surgeries a month later and returned to work shortly afterward.

On March 3, 2009, she was urgently hospitalized after chest pain associated with the injury, and she had to miss one episode in the 10th season of SVU.

Usually, Mariska Hargitay gets asked about her mother's tragic death, but in 2009, he opened up about "the terrifying injury" for the very first time. According to RedBook's article, the Hollywood star jumped and landed in such a way that a microscopic bleed began in her lung tissue. As a result, it required multiple surgeries to repair this issue.

Such a horrifying experience shook Mariska Hargitay to the core.

First aid for pneumothorax

If a pneumothorax is suspected, you should immediately call an ambulance or consult a doctor. If an open pneumothorax occurs, a sterile dressing must be applied to the open chest wound.

Since a sucking chest wound (SCW) happens when an injury causes a hole to open in a chest, and there is no ambulance, do the following per emergency service operator's instructions:

1. Sterilize your hands with soap and water.

2. Put on gloves or other hand protection.

3. Remove any loose clothing or objects covering the wound. Don't remove clothing that's stuck to the injury.

4. Keep a hand over the wound while preparing the dressing. If possible, have someone else put their hand over the wound. If no one else is available, have the injured person cover the injury with their hand if they're still able to do so.

5. Find a chest seal or sterile, medical-grade plastic, or tape to seal the wound. If you don't have medical plastic, use a clean Ziploc bag or a credit card for the injury. Use your hands if you have no other option. If possible, ask the person to breathe out to release any excess air.

6. Place tape, plastic, or a chest seal over any hole that's sucking in air, including entry and exit wounds. Make sure no air enters any injury. Secure the tape or seal with an occlusive dressing or similar wrapping material that can create a water and airtight seal.

7. Remove the seal if you notice symptoms of tension pneumothorax or a buildup of air in the chest. This can cause extremely low blood pressure (shock) and be fatal.

Keep the person on their side unless it makes the situation harder for them to breathe. Let out as much excess airflow as possible from the chest while making sure that the person can still breath.

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A collapsed lung can be a severe problem for your health, so it is essential to know all the symptoms to define in on time. If you suspect it, call the ambulance or ask someone to go to the hospital at once, or follow the instructions as mentioned above.


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.