Pneumonia vs Atelectasis

  1. Ok, I know the 2 most common respiratory related complications from abdominal surgery are atelectasis & pneumonia. I keep reading my books, but none of them go into detail enough to really understand the difference in treatment of the two and how to tell the difference. I've looked online and all I find is conflicting information. Please help! I know it's probably very simple and right in my face.. but I'm missing it.
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    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 1


  3. by   nursern1966
    Atelectasis is usually a surgical complication.
  4. by   9livesRN
    Atelectasis is like when the lung colapses (when it cant inflate) - here is some easy terms info on it

    pneumonia is an infection of the lungs - here is easy info on that

    they are 2 totally different things, so they are treated differently, although you might see some common symptoms, but that is because they both happen on the lung, as per say, shortness of breath!!
    Last edit by 9livesRN on Oct 15, '09 : Reason: more info for you!
  5. by   checkmarks0725
    Pneumonia is fluid in the lungs. Atelectasis is the collapsing of the aveoli of the lungs. (at least that's my understanding).
  6. by   9livesRN
    Atelectasis is caused by a blockage of the air passages (bronchus or bronchioles) or by pressure on the outside of the lung.