confused! wet vs dry crackles

  1. 0
    i thought that i understood crackles but now am confused.

    when i have a chf patient and i hear crackles, is this considered wet or dry crackles? am i correct in assuming that these are wet crackles since the fluid is backing up into the lungs and i am hearing the air moving through the fluid?

    when i have a pneumonia patient what kind of crackles am i hearing? is it dry due to the infection blocking off a good portion of the lower lungs, or wet due to the air traveling through the mucus of the infection.

    is it possible to distinguish wet from dry crackles primarily by auscultation, or do they both sound the same via stethascope?

    help! and thanks!

    tt
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Yes you can distinguish between wet and dry crackles. Wet with chf or patients who have retained secretions and need suctioning. Dry crackles can usually be heard in bases on late inspiration(due to small airway collapse, at the end of ispiration they pop open). You can also hear dry crackles with patients who have pulmonary fibrosis.
  5. 0
    This is highly theoretical though. What I mean is that studies have been done that show that most nurses can't agree on what are "wet" crackles and "dry" crackles.
  6. 0
    what is theoretical? Wet crackles are from fluid and dry are not. your first post was asking how to distinguish between the two, there was nothing about a study.
  7. 0
    Quote from zacarias
    This is highly theoretical though. What I mean is that studies have been done that show that most nurses can't agree on what are "wet" crackles and "dry" crackles.
    Agreed - even some of the Respiratory Physicians will tell you that the distinction of whether a crackle is "wet" or "dry" is usually made AFTER the diagnosis is made. It can be very confusing which is why check X-rays are done.


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