(JOHANNESBURG) – As Nelson Mandela undergoes tests during his second straight day at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, reports surfaced Thursday that the 92-year-old former South African president and anti-apartheid hero may have suffered a collapsed lung.
A collapsed lung is the collection of air in the space around the lungs, also known as pneumothorax, and can occur as a “primary spontaneous pneumothorax”, or PSP. In those cases, it occurs without a precipitating event in a person without known lung disease.
About 7.4 out of 100,000 people suffer a collapsed lung each year in the United States with men more likely to suffer it than women.
Although Mandela is known to undergo routine health examinations, the most recent visit has garnered attention due to its unusual length. Although it is not yet known why Mandela was hospitalized, reports have circulated both that Mandela entered the hospital for routine testing as well as rumors that he was suffering chest pains and had trouble breathing prior to being admitted.
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