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  • • Localized collapse of alveoli

    • Hypoxemia


  • • Prolonged immobilization

    • Splinting

    • Prolonged shallow respirations

Symptoms and Signs

  • • Hypoxemia

    • Bronchial breath sounds over dependent portions of lungs

Laboratory Findings

  • • Hypoxemia

Imaging Findings

  • • Parenchymal collapse on chest film

    • Small lung volumes on chest film

  • • Frequently occurs postoperatively within 48 hours

    • Fever often unaccompanied by other findings

  • • ABG measurements

    • Chest x-ray

  • • Encourage deep breathing

    • Ambulation

    • Encourage coughing

    • Bronchoscopy

    • Mechanical ventilation

    • Diuresis if appropriate


  • • Diuretics if appropriate

    • Adequate pain relief


  • • Pneumonia


  • • Excellent


  • • Incentive spirometry


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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