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Atelectasis

Overview

Atelectasis is a condition in which partial or complete collapse of lungs takes place. Atelectasis occurs when alveoli (tiny air sacs) within the lungs get deflated. The condition shows serious results if a person makes delay in taking the treatment


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Causes

The condition can be caused by variety of factors. The condition can be termed as outcome of some respiratory problems. The other causes of the condition are presence of mucus in the airway after surgery, inhaling of foreign objects, severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, chest injuries, etc.  Some factors that increase the risk of condition are anaesthesia, shallow breathing, lung diseases, etc.


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Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of the condition vary depending upon the main cause and degree or extent of lung involvement. Chest pain, cough, difficulty in breathing, etc. are some of the common symptoms of the condition.

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Prevention

If anyone is bedridden for prolonged time period, deep breathing exercise along with physical movement is encouraged in order to prevent the condition of Atelectasis. After anaesthesia, maintaining deep breathing exercise also helps in preventing Atelectasis.


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Treatments
Bronchoscopy Modern Medicine

The treatment of Atelectasis aims at treating the collapsed lung tissue. If due to the presence of fluid, lung is compressing, fluid is removed from the lung. The other treatments are as follows:

  • Putting clap on the chest as this helps in loosening mucus
  • Deep breathing exercises are recommended
  • If there is any obstruction, same is removed either by bronchoscopy or any other procedure.
  • If tumor is causing the condition, tumor is treated
  • Tilting head of a person in such a manner that head remains lower than the chest. This helps in allowing mucus to get drained easily.
  • For opening the airway, aerosolized respiratory treatments are used. The treatments include medications, etc.
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