|The Lungs (Cut-away View)|
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- Blockage of the airway
- Reduced amount of surfactant, a liquid that keeps the lungs expanded
- Tumors, mucus, or a foreign object in the lungs
- Compression, resulting from emphysema , an enlarged heart, or a tumor
- Scarring that blocks the airway as a result of radiation therapy , frequent infections, or disease
- Pneumothorax (leakage of air into the space surrounding the lungs)
- Lung immaturity in premature babies
- Fluid accumulation
- Failure to take deep breaths
- Not coughing, which keeps the airway clear
- Premature birth if lungs are not fully developed
- Restricted chest movement, due to bone or muscle problems, or recent abdominal surgery
- Prolonged bed rest with few changes in position
- Mechanical ventilation
- Lung diseases, such as asthma or lung cancer
- Weakened respiratory muscles
- Heart failure
- Conditions that limit physical activity, such as a stroke , spinal cord injury, heart problems, trauma , or severe illness
- Rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Taking shallow breaths
- Decreased chest movement during breathing
- Mild fever
- Rapid heart rate
- Chest pain
- Blueness of the lips or nails
- Breathing masks or treatments to help keep your airways open
- Incentive spirometry to help you learn to take deeper breaths
- Suction to help remove secretions
- A breathing machine, called a ventilator, if you are unable to breathe adequately on your own
- Medications to open the airways
- Medications or therapy to treat the health condition that caused the collapse
- Antibiotics to treat an infection
- Oxygen, if you are having trouble breathing
- If you need to, talk to your doctor about the best ways to quit smoking and lose weight .
- If you have a chronic lung or heart condition, follow the treatment plan outlined by your doctor.
- After surgery, follow instructions for deep breathing, coughing, and turning. Ask for pain medication if discomfort is limiting movement or coughing.
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Explore atelectasis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atl. Updated January 13, 2012. Accessed September 19, 2013.
Behrman RE, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2007.
Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Internal Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2008.
Mason, RJ et al. Murray & Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2007.
Spontaneous pneumothorax in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated June 28, 2013. Accessed September 19, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -