Pneumothorax. From “pneumo-“ (air) and “thorax” (chest/torso). This potentially serious condition can prevent patients from getting enough oxygen in the bloodstream. Symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath. This condition is also known as a “collapsed lung” because it causes the lung to shrink under the pressure of external air. A pulmonary embolism is a blockage of the pulmonary artery, often in the form of a blood clot that has traveled from elsewhere in the body.
Pulmonary edema is a buildup of fluid (not air) inside the lungs (not outside). It’s similar to pneumothorax in that they can both present chest pains and shortness of breath, but the causes are very different. Finally, SARS is a viral infection that starts with flu-like symptoms. Fortunately, no new SARS infections have been reported since 2004.