Quick question for class

  1. Does anyone know the definition of "dependent lung" and "dependent lung area"?? It is mentioned in our text book and someone was wondering what it meant. I can't find a simple definition of this anywhere. I think it has something to do with drainage but I wanted a reference. I have searched online and only find very scientific articles that don't explain what it really means.
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    About futurecnm

    Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 567; Likes: 209
    ED RN
    Specialty: ED


  3. by   TazziRN
    Just looked it up in Taber's, no clue, sorry. The only thing I could think of is if the pt is lying on one side, the dependent lung might be the one on the bottom.
  4. by   Melina
    From what I can gather, the dependent lung is the injured lung, and the healthy lung is non-dependent. It seems there can be dependent/non-dependent areas as well, if only part of a lung is damaged.

    I might be able to be more helpful if I knew the context of the reference. What textbook was it in?

  5. by   ICRN2008
    "Dependent lung area" might have to do with the position of the body (and therefore the lungs) relative to gravity.

    For instance, when you are in an upright position, the lower lobes of the lungs are known as the dependent areas of the lungs. When you are laying down, it is the posterior portion of the lungs.

    I am not positive about this, so you might want to confirm this information with another source.
  6. by   augigi
    The dependent lung area is per the poster above ie. the area where secretions will gather relative to gravity. If you're left side-lying, the part of the lung on the bottom left where secretions settle. If you're supine, the posterior lung bilaterally, if you're upright, the base of the lungs.