Pulmonary Atelectasis – What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments


Pulmonary Atelectasis – What is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments that is always good to know. In addition, Pulmonary Atelectasis is also called pulmonary collapse, where it can be partially or completely present in the lung or pulmonary lobe. This problem occurs when the small lung sacs, known as alveoli, empty out.

It is a type of respiratory complication of the most common type, occurring mainly after surgical interventions. Its onset is also caused by other breathing problems.

What is Pulmonary Atelectasis?

The pulmonary atelectasis it is a condition in which some or all of the alveoli in the lungs collapse, thereby reducing the ability of the lungs to provide oxygen to the body. The alveoli are surrounded by small capillaries that exchange carbon dioxide with oxygen from the inhaled air. This oxygenated blood is transported to the brain and also other organs by means of the circulatory system.

A surfactant coating within the well walls normally ensures that they remain inflated for efficient gas exchange. However, mucus accumulation, respiratory diseases and surgery can be factors that hinder this process, causing atelectasis.

Pulmonary Atelectasis Symptoms:

There can be no obvious signs or symptoms of atelectasis . If you have signs and symptoms, they may include:

Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)

Fast, shallow breathing



When Should I See a Doctor:

Pulmonary atelectasis is likely to occur when you are already in hospital. However, seek medical attention immediately if you have trouble breathing. Conditions other than atelectasis may cause breathing difficulties and require accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. If your breathing becomes increasingly difficult, seek emergency care.

Causes of Pulmonary Atelectasis:

Pulmonary atelectasis may be the result of a blocked airway (obstructive) or external lung pressure (nonobstructive).

Almost everyone who operates has some anesthetic atelectasis. Anesthesia alters your regular breathing pattern and the absorption of gases and pressures, which can combine to cause some degree of collapse of the small air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. Pulmonary atelectasis is particularly important after cardiac bypass surgery .

Risk factors:

Factors that increase the risk of atelectasis include:

Age – being under 3 or over 60 years old.

Any condition that interferes with spontaneous coughing , yawning and sighing.

Confinement in bed with infrequent position changes.

Decreased swallowing function, particularly in older adults – aspirate

Lung secretions are a major source of infections .

Pulmonary disease, such as asthma in children, COPD, bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis.

Premature birth.

Recent abdominal or chest surgery.

Recent general anesthesia.

Respiratory muscle weakness due to muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury or

another neuromuscular condition.

Any cause of shallow breathing – including medications and their side effects,

or mechanical limitations, such as abdominal pain or rib fracture, for example.


The following complications may result from atelectasis:

Low oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia). Atelectasis hinders the ability of your lungs

to get oxygen into the alveoli.

Pneumonia. You risk developing pneumonia until Pulmonary Atelectasis has been cleared.

deleted. Mucus in a collapsed lung can lead to infection.

Respiratory failure. A small area of ​​atelectasis, especially in an adult,

It is usually treatable. But the loss of a whole wolf or lung, particularly in

a child or someone with lung disease can be fatal.

Pulmonary Atelectasis Prevention:

Pulmonary atelectasis in children is often caused by a blockage in the airway. For

To reduce the risk of atelectasis , keep small objects out of the reach of children.

In adults, pulmonary atelectasis usually occurs after surgery. If you are scheduled for surgery, talk to your doctor about reducing your risk of atelectasis.

Treatment of Pulmonary Atelectasis:

The way to treat the disease depends on the symptoms presented by the patient. When it affects smaller areas of the lung, healing is usually spontaneous.

However, if it is linked to another health problem , such as a tumor, for example, doctors may need to remove or shrink the affected area through surgical procedures or other therapies, such as chemo or radiotherapy.


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