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  • • Localized collapse of alveoli

    • Hypoxemia

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Epidemiology

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  • • Prolonged immobilization

    • Splinting

    • Prolonged shallow respirations

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Symptoms and Signs

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  • • Hypoxemia

    • Bronchial breath sounds over dependent portions of lungs

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Laboratory Findings

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  • • Hypoxemia

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Imaging Findings

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  • • Parenchymal collapse on chest film

    • Small lung volumes on chest film

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  • • Frequently occurs postoperatively within 48 hours

    • Fever often unaccompanied by other findings

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  • • ABG measurements

    • Chest x-ray

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  • • Encourage deep breathing

    • Ambulation

    • Encourage coughing

    • Bronchoscopy

    • Mechanical ventilation

    • Diuresis if appropriate

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Medications

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  • • Diuretics if appropriate

    • Adequate pain relief

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Complications

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  • • Pneumonia

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Prognosis

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  • • Excellent

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Prevention

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  • • Incentive spirometry

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References

Lawrence VA, Cornell JE, Smetana GW: Strategies to reduce postoperative pulmonary complications after noncardiothoracic surgery: systematic review for the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med 2006;144:596.  [PubMed: 16618957]

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